Manchester Storm 3 Sheffield Steelers 8 - Sheffield go on a goal rampage
Steelers started their defence of the Challenge Cup with an entertaining 8-3 romp at Manchester Storm on Saturday night.
It was a highly offensive, topsy-turvy encounter, with Steelers leading 3-0 and then 4-1 before being dragged back to 4-3.
But they pulled away at the end.
It had been one year, eight months, and 29 days since Sheffield had last played at Altrincham.
But it only took Sheffield 55 seconds to open their account, Tanner Eberle firing high past Matt Ginn on the short side, man of the match Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen and Robert Dowd involved in the break down the ice.
Both sides' special teams then saw some action before Steeler Cup debutant Evan Mosey chalked up number two for the South Yorkshire side, aided by Sam Jones and Brendan Connolly at 8:53.
Mosey doubled his haul three minutes later - and Manchester were suddenly in a tailspin as they headed towards the first break.
It was Ryan Finnerty's side who grabbed the initiative after the interval, Tyson Fawcett, beating Rok Stojanovic, selected in goal ahead of Barry Brust.
But that was neutralised when Connolly got on the scoresheet at 27:01.
Suddenly Steelers were showing a porous defence with Storm skipper Dallas Ehrhardt, at the back stick, reducing the home team's deficit to 2-4.
Six goals had been scored in 30 minutes...the fans were getting their money's worth and the home supporters had at least seen their team rally to win the middle period.
Sheffield had wanted to kill the game off and conserve energy for Sunday's home appointment with Cardiff Devils.
And they thought they'd done that when Anthony DeLuca struck the puck goalbound, but it to be washed out after a video review.
A power play Erhardt goal for Storm at 48:32 did count, but that was followed by Eberle's second of the night with just over 10 minutes remaining.
And the game was finally safe at 54;58 with Marco Vallerand scoring his first of the early season.
With the momentum firmly behind them, DeLuca joined him on the scoresheet, courtesy of Robert Dowd's creativity.
And Dowd added an eighth with 10 seconds remaining, Cole Shudra assisting.
It was an easy finish - Sheffield riding the Storm's middle period rally.