Sheffield Steelers 8-1 Nottingham Panthers (final score)

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Sheffield Steelers overpowered a shockingly poor Nottingham Panthers side this evening.

Nottingham, with four players out including ex Steeler Chris Lawrence, had a bright enough start but ran into penalty trouble and paid a heavy price.

With Kristian Kudrok and then Steve Lee penalised, Steelers poured forward and Robert Dowd put Steelers ahead, at 11;33, redirecting a big Christoffer Bjorklund shot.

Twenty five seconds later it was 2-0 with Colton Fretter scoring from close range past Jindrich Pacl.

There was to be no going back for a Panthers side who didn't seem to have much passion about them.

Yes they were understaffed. And they had players on the ice who were struggling with other injuries.

But performance levels won't be deemed acceptable by fans who had followed them up the M1.

Every time Mike Ratchuk zipped forward from defence a goal looked on the cards.

And the packed Sheffield Arena only had to wait until 13;35 when man of the moment Mathieu Roy polished off a John Armstrong rebound.

Steelers, wearing a specially-designed shirt with a Poppy motif, could have been 5-0 up and outshot the visitors 13-7 in the opening period.

Nottingham were a team drain of ambition and fire in the second period - as limp a performance from a Panthers' side as I can recall.

Pacl seemed unsighted as Fretter got his second of the night at 21;17.

But he and his defencemen yielded two more, too easily.

Roy scored a sensational solo goal as he weaved away from markers and rifled in for 5-0 at 27;05.

And Panthers d-man Jeff Dimmen only looked half interested as Ben O'Connor added another, after a phenomenal shift from Davey Phillips.

In fairness to Dimmen, he and his team-mates were denied a clear penalty-shot after Zack Fitzgerald stopped the puck going in by a timely interference infringement.

The body language of Panthers players was telling.

Brian McGrattan, a 317-game NHL veteran, was shrugging his shoulders and dismissive of passes that weren't to his liking.

Jesse Schultz, who hadn't found the net in his previous three outings, made it 7-0 and there was an eighth from the hard-working Markus Nilsson.

Panthers' Brad Moran had the puck past Ervins Mustukovs in the very final second - their only consolation that they had ruined a home shut out.

Coach Paul Thompson said his players had enjoyed a great week of practice running up to the match and that they and carried out all that was expected of them.

He was disappointed to have conceded in the last second of the match but said the points were the main thing.

"It was all very rewarding, very pleasing" he said.


Sunday 13th November

Elite League

Coventry Blaze v Braehead Clan – 5.15pm

Dundee Stars v Sheffield Steelers – 6.30pm

Challenge Cup Group A

Edinburgh Capitals v Belfast Giants – 6.00pm

Challenge Cup Group B

Cardiff Devils v Manchester Storm – 6.00pm


Saturday 12th November

Elite League

Belfast Giants 3 Cardiff Devils 2

Fife Flyers 4 Edinburgh Capitals 2

Manchester Storm 2 Braehead Clan 5

Sheffield Steelers 8 Nottingham Panthers 1

*Steelers owner Tony Smith predicts a 9,300 sell-out when Nottingham Panthers return to the Arena on Boxing Day.