SHEFFIELD Steelers chase along the season’s final straight received a morale-booster as they came back from 4-1 down to pick up a win for the first time in three League games.
While the title is out of reach, Sheffield need a run of form if they are to win the Cup and Play Offs.
And while their hopes of tripping up leaders Nottingham were lost on Saturday, Steelers showed courage in turning a seemingly lost-cause into victory in Wales.
They’d started brightly, Ashley Tait crashing the net after 19 seconds.
However the reverse spurred Cardiff; Kenton Smith levelled and with Chris Frank serving a minor, Gerad Adams doubled Devils’ tally.
Two goals in a minute from Max Birbraer and Luke Piggott, confirmed Devils’ apparent superiority and ended goalie John DeCaro’s night; he was switched for Geoff Woolhouse.
Frank pulled one back, short-handed, triggering new belief in the visitors. Jeff Legue made it 3-4 at 49;36 and 19 seconds later it was all square, with another short-hander this time from Shawn Limpright on a breakway after a rink-length pass from defence.
Rod Sarich, skating backwards in the offensive zone, then unleashed a slapshot winner at 43;16.
* A failure to find the same cutting edge saw Steelers beaten 2-0 at Nottingham on Saturday; a defeat which provided Panthers their 16th win out of 17.
Sheffield cut Scott Champagne as a healthy scratch - even though coach Ryan Finnerty admitted Steve Goertzen “played when he shouldn’t have done”.Goertzen didn’t make the Cardiff game.
Finnerty had no complaints defensively - Steelers restricted Notts to a strike from David Clarke.
Sheffield claimed one of their shots crossed the line but ref Hicks was having none of it. They went hunting an equaliser with six skaters, pulling goalie DeCaro off with 75 seconds left, but Lepine scoring an empty-netter.