SHEFFIELD STEELERS served an early warning to their Elite League rivals with an 8-1 demolition of Fife Flyers.
The South Yorkshire club may still be waiting to ice on their normal home pad of the Motorpoint Arena, but their second home of Ice Sheffield did just fine last night as they overran their Scottish visitors, who have lost all four of their league encounters so far this season, including Saturday night’s defeat at home to the Steelers, who prevailed 5-4 after a shoot-out in what was their opening league game of he season.
First-period goals from imports Colton Fretter (2) and Mike Forney handed the home side a 3-1 advantage, with Bobby Chaumont’s 12th-minute powerplay effort keeping the men from Kirkcaldy in touch.
That was how it stayed until Forney grabbed his second of the night at 31.27, with GB forward Phil Hill making it 5-1 just under five minutes later.
Further goals from Devin Di Diomete, Jay Latulippe – on the powerplay – and defenceman Gord Baldwin sealed the win.
The previous night’s encounter in Fife proved a much closer affair, the Steelers first letting a two-goal lead slip in the third period before regaining the lead at 57.01 through Forney’s second of the night only to allow the hosts back in again with nine seconds left on the clock when Jordan Fulton levelled.
A penalty shoot-out was required, with successful shots from Mathieu Roy and Darrell Hay earning the extra point.
Overall head coach Gerad Adams was a happy man on Sunday night, but promised there was even better to come from his team.
“I felt we were excellent at home, right from the start and I was really happy for Colton Fretter to get that first goal,” said Adams.
“We were very creative in terms of the offensive side, although there are a few things defensively we need to have a look at and I thought we got better as the game went on at home.
“It was extremely tough in Fife on Saturday, I felt we played good for the first two periods, but they play extremely well up there and you have to give them credit.
“In the third period there were some individual mistakes but they did play well, but we kept our composure and showed some good skill in the shoot-out to get that extra point.”
“To sit here and say I’m not happy would not be true, obviously, but I think there is a lot more to come from this team and there are vast improvements to be made in a lot of areas.”
Hull Stingrays earned their first win of the season with an impressive 5-4 overtime victory at defending Gardiner Conference champions Dundee Stars – Jordan Mayer scoring the winner just 17 seconds in.
The win made up for the previous night’s 5-2 home loss to Edinburgh Capitals.
Assistant-player coach Carl Lauzon gave Stingrays the lead after only 37 seconds, but John Mitchell levelled for Stars at 1.34 only for Zach Hervato to restore his side’s advantage at 7.23.
Martin Cingel (23.40) and Bari McKenzie (34.17, powerplay) turned the game in Stars’ favour, Mayer (38.06) made it 3-3 but Shane Lust (38.45) put the home side back in front.
Stingrays then pulled netminder David Brown and the move paid off when Hervato tied it up with just 15 seconds remaining, with Mayer going on to clinch the extra point.
Player-coach Omar Pacha was missing from the line-up in Dundee due to an arm injury sustained in the previous night’s game at home to Edinburgh.
He is scheduled to have an X-ray on Monday morning to discover the extent of his injury.
“It was a big win and great to win my first professional game as a coach,” said Pacha.
“They showed a lot of character again, they never gave up and they kept going. Herv got a big goal for us at the end and he and Jordan had great games.
“We only had three ‘D’ and Ozzie (forward Dominic Osman) dropped back there again so to do that back-to-back this weekend, I couldn’t be happier with the effort.
“Hopefully, this win can settle the guys down now. They want it so bad they have been trying to do too much. We are still making mistakes but they are easily correctable.”
On Saturday, CJ Chartrain and Matt Larke were in the Hull line-up for the first time, but lost Pacha in a goalless first period.
After going down to a Jade Portwood opener in the 23rd minute, Hull soon found themselves in front through two goals in less than a minute from Lauzon and Osman.
But the Capitals were ahead before the end of the second through two goals in 20 seconds from Rene Jarolin and Joe Grimaldi, with Dennis Rix and Portwood securing both points for the visitors with third period goals.
Elite League: Dundee Stars 4 Hull Stingrays 5 (OT), Sheffield Steelers 8 Fife Flyers 1
Challenge Cup, Group A: Edinburgh Capitals 0 Braehead Clan 3.
Challenge Cup, Group B: Cardiff Devils 4 Coventry Blaze 3.
Elite League: Coventry Blaze 4 Dundee Stars 0, Fife Flyers 4 Sheffield Steelers 5 (SO), Hull Stingrays 2 Edinburgh Capitals 5.
League/Challenge Cup, Group B: Nottingham Panthers 3 Cardiff Devils 1
Challenge Cup, Group A: Belfast Giants 3 Braehead Clan 4 (OT)