Sheffield Steelers extend their lead at the top of the EIHL

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Steelers started 2024 as they ended 2023, with a majestic victory that has taken them another step towards the Elite League title.

Sheffield are now seemingly an unstoppable force having moved EIGHT points clear at the top of the table.

They have two games in hand over Cardiff Devils, whom they face on Wednesday night.

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A win in South Wales would be an even bigger statement to those trying to catch them.

Happy New Year for Steelers fans in ManchesterHappy New Year for Steelers fans in Manchester
Happy New Year for Steelers fans in Manchester

New Year's Day saw Sheffield record their 19th win out of 22 games, this time a 4-1 win over Manchester Storm.

Coach Aaron Fox was without forward Josh Nicholls and rested Matt Greenfield for Tony Morrone in goal, which illustrates the depth he has at his disposal.

They didn't have it all their own way, as they had in Saturday's 9-3 massacre of the same side, at Sheffield Arena.

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But another strong third period was enough to take the points back over the hills.

Daniel Ciampini having a word at ManchesterDaniel Ciampini having a word at Manchester
Daniel Ciampini having a word at Manchester

"You have got to give Sheffield credit, that is a really good hockey team over there" said Storm coach Matt Ginn, who was relieved, at least, that his side had lived with the league leaders, for the most part.

"They are top of the table for a reason, they just keep coming at you in waves" he added, admitting it was mistakes that had cost them.

"When you are playing a team like that, you cannot afford to have those."

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Scott Allen put Steelers ahead after four minutes, and Mitchell Balmas increased the margin 18 minutes later.

But right winger Tyler Hinam halved the deficit to make a game of it until Balmas got his second and Brett Neumann, playing his 100th Steeler match, tied the points up.