Sheffield Steelers' fans serenade team back to EIHL Cup win
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In their first game back since the awful events of October 28 spectators witnessed more than just a well-earned 4-1 Challenge Cup victory at Manchester Storm.
They saw a team ready to re-set and re-load – a totally professional performance as the players continue to try to move on from the death of Nottingham Panthers’ Adam Johnson at Sheffield Arena.
The sell-out crowd saw an almost business-as-usual performance from a team used to winning away from home.
Steelers took just eight minutes to get back in the groove.
Patrick Watling roofed the puck in Altrincham and they held the lead until the 19th minute when Mitchell Martan equalised against the run of play.
Marco Vallerand weighed in with decisive touches, assisting on Robert Dowd’s go-ahead goal and then adding his own to make it 3-1 on the power play at 27:01.
It was a well-earned lead, with Steelers striking 50 shots on target compared to Manchester’s 20, after 40 minutes. One of those included a cracking Colton Saucerman drive against the crossbar.
Daniel Ciampini wrapped up a successful evening celebrating in front of the travelling fans, at 54:48.
Coach Aaron Fox was relieved and delighted. “I couldn’t have asked for more, the boys certainly came to play and put in a great performance
“I can’t thank the fans enough, their support was next level tonight from the moment we pulled up outside the rink to the final whistle, Manchester was certainly orange tonight”
Storm boss Matt Ginn complimented Sheffield’s performance, although he claimed Steelers’ second goal was several feet offside.
Ginn didn’t try to disguise the gap between the sides, though.