HAVING already suffered nine defeats in 21 games this season, defeat at home to Edinburgh Capitals last night was something Sheffield Steelers could simply not afford.
Twice the Steelers have come unstuck against their Scottish rivals this season, once at the same Ice Sheffield venue as their latest meeting. But, on this occasion, it was third time lucky for Paul Thompson’s team.
In those two previous meetings, the Steelers had outshot Edinburgh by 102-55. Last night, it was a similar story - the difference this time was that they made their overwhelming superiority count.
The breakthrough still took a while though. Carsen Chubak was proving difficult to beat in the Capitals goal, but he was powerless to stop Zach Fitzgerald’s piledriver into the top corner at 14.57.
The lead was doubled through Mathieu Roy when he fired through a screen at 17.24.
The home side’s dominance continued in the second when, after holding off a rare Capitals attack, the Steelers made their powerplay count - quickly breaking down the other end where Tyler Mosienko fed Colton Fretter, who fired over Chubak’s left shoulder into the roof of the net.
Chubak was again helpless when Fretter got his second of the night, again on the powerplay, when left all alone in front of the net at 31.29.
Fretter completed his hat-trick with a sublime piece of skill, weaving his way down on the Edinburgh goal before poking home past Chubak at 44.34.
Roy doubled his tally with less than two minutes remaining, a shorthanded effort giving him his 17th goal of the season.