Match report: Sheffield Steelers 4 Cardiff Devils 3

Steelers marksman Jeff Legue
Steelers marksman Jeff Legue
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SHEFFIELD Steelers will be talking to Jessica Ennis’ coach Toni Minichiello about an off-ice role at the club for next season.

Owner Tony Smith’s is adamant he doesn’t want his team left in the starting blocks in the 2013-14 campaign as the chase will begin to overtake champions Nottingham Panthers.

If Minichiello can guide Ennis to Olympic gold, he might be able to get them in the shape required to top the Elite League podium.

Certainly a re-think about preparation and conditioning is on Smith’s mind.

At the weekend, his team looked fit enough as they sped past Coventry and had enough in the tank to edge a one-goal win over Cardiff.

Last night was an awkward rather than electrifying win - but there were positives they could take into Wednesday’s Challenge Cup Final against Panthers.

Sheffield took the lead three times in the first period. Tylor Michel scored an individual goal after 79 seconds and goaltender Geoff Woolhouse stood tall during a five on three penalty kill.

But Devils’ Jesse Gimblett hit the bar and in the same attack, Mark Richardson equalised.

In the next raid, Steelers went 2-1 up through Jeff Legue but they couldn’t hold on during a second 5-on-3 kill, though, Max Birbraer firing near post, over Woolhouse’s flailing left leg. Shawn Limpright ensured they went in to the first break 3-2 up.

A scrappy, more cautious middle period was tied 1-1. Simon Ferguson obscured netminder Chris Whitley on the powerplay allowing Ashley Tait to nip in to score.

But then Adam Harding fastened on to a loose puck and smashed it through traffic past Woolhouse.

*Steelers boss Ryan Finnerty had been hoping his side would discover their goal touch - and they delivered on Saturday, demolishing Coventry 8-3.

The game was 87 seconds old when Tait converted against his old side and by the 36th minute they were 5-0 ahead, with strikes from Jonathan Phillips, Legue, Danny Meyers and James Jorgensen.

In the third period, Blaze’s Josh Bruce netted at 43.05 before Steven Goertzen replied.

Then James Griffen and then Derek Campbell registered to make the scoreline more respectable but Legue and Phillips ensured a five goal margin.