Sheffield Steelers go into overdrive against Manchester Storm
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Was it going to be one of those nights where the puck just won't go in?
Not at all.
The pressure was suddenly released by Robert Dowd and the bottleneck was over.
At the end of a gruelling night, Storm were a car wreck and lucky to have just half a dozen put past them in the 6-1 loss.
Sheffield boss Aaron Fox insisted he'd had faith his four-line team would eventually breach the visitors' barricades.
He accepted Storm's goalie had played a blinder and his forwards had initially been working on the perimeter rather than where ice hockey hurts opponents.
"But we stayed in concept, our game didn't change. We just thought if we get the first one it would change the game and the momentum, which we did."
Despite the first 39 minutes of offensive exasperation, Fox had strongly suspected Manchester "would not be able to keep us under control.
"You can't get frustrated, sometimes you might get some bad body language or guys start to get frustrated when you dominate like that and pucks are not going in.
"You just have to say the course. Play to our identity and believe that if we continue to do a lot of things right we will get rewarded" said Fox.
In Wednesday's Cup opener, Manchester carried the early threat, however Steelers killed a four minute penalty, Brien Diffley defiantly blocked a shot, and Sheffield pinged the puck off netminder Evan Weninger's crossbar.
Storm clung on as Mikko Juusola and Brett Neumann brought danger to the away crease and Johnny Corneil almost re-directed the puck into his own net.
Steelers, who had presented new two-way signings Dan Crowe and Sam Cooper to the 8,843 crowd before face off, had to find a way to break down Storm's stubborn defence after outshooting them 12-3 in the first period.
While they dominated, there was no end product, and it was Storm that took the lead, a super wrist shot from Andreas Heier, whistling past Colton Saucerman and high into Matt Greenfield's net.
Weninger's wiry frame was frustrating every assault while he had some luck when Mikko Juusola's tip inched the wrong side of the post.
With 16 seconds left of the middle frame, Dowd was at the back door to back-hand for 1-1.
Steelers had stuck at the task and been rewarded.
All that remained was for Sheffield to finish the job off.
And that they did in style.
Storm were ripped apart.
Kevin Tansey provided the screen on a Power Play for Brett Neumann to score. Josh Nicholls fired over the flailing arm of Weninger. Mitchell Balmas swept in majestically from the right wing and Scott Allen brought up 5-1.
Storm had nothing left to give and had to watch Tansey fire in a cracker from distance.
Manchester will be hungry for revenge on Saturday in the return fixture - but maybe a little anxious too, as Steelers have scored 11 in their last two hours of play.