Troubled Newcastle Vipers were convincingly beaten 9-0 as Sheffield Steelers moved into joint second in the Elite League last night.
The team barely had to move out of first gear against the financially-stricken Vipers, who iced just 13 skaters.
It took just two minutes for the full-strength home side to go ahead through Jason Hewitt. Poor defending helped Rob Globke to double the lead 85 seconds later.
Steelers' Ervins Mustukovs – who recorded his ninth shut-out of the season – was virtually a spectator.
At the other end, Steelers scored three power-play goals without reply through coach Ben Simon, Ashley Tait and Rod Sarich.
Globke's second of the night made it 6-0 by the end of the second session. A brace by Jeff Legue piled on the misery before Joey Talbot wrapped up an easy win for the home side.
A goal by Cardiff 30 seconds from time dumped Sheffield out of the Challenge Cup last night. Steelers needed a win from either Nottingham Panthers or the Devils in Cardiff to secure the group's runner-up spot. However, the 3-3 draw instead put both Cardiff and Panthers through to the last four.