Influence of Tom Barrasso on Sheffield Steelers continues to have desired effect

FROM ME, TO YOU: Evan McGrath, right, comes to congratulate Steffan Della Rovere after helping set him up to score Sheffield Steelers' third goal against Manchester Storm on Sunday. Picture: Dean Woolley.
FROM ME, TO YOU: Evan McGrath, right, comes to congratulate Steffan Della Rovere after helping set him up to score Sheffield Steelers' third goal against Manchester Storm on Sunday. Picture: Dean Woolley.
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SHEFFIELD STEELERS ensured their Elite League rivals will continue to sit up and take notice when they maintained their run of good form with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Manchester Storm.

Having been out of action for more than a week, the Steelers showed no signs of being ring rusty on a night which brought three power play goals from a team looking increasingly comfortable playing under the attentive eye of head coach Tom Barrasso.

It was a goal on the man-advantage at 15.12 from the stick of Josh Pitt – tipping in a Ben O’Connor shot – that saw the Steelers break the deadlock in front of a 7,000-plus crowd against former head coach Ryan Finnerty’s team.

They doubled their lead just after the halfway mark when Swedish forward Jonas Westerling slotted home a second power play marker of the evening when prodding in a rebound from close-range.

The visitors – frustrated by a 5-4 overtime defeat at home to defending champions Cardiff Devils the previous evening – got themselves back in the game in the 48th minute thanks to Evan Richardson’s scrambled effort.

But it wasn’t a one-goal game for long as, less than four minutes later, the Steelers made the game safe through Stefan Della Rovere’s sharp strike off a pinpoint feed from Evan McGrath.

NOW HEAR THIS: Tom Barrasso gets his message across to the Sheffield Steelers' players on Sunday night. Picture: Dean Woolley.

NOW HEAR THIS: Tom Barrasso gets his message across to the Sheffield Steelers' players on Sunday night. Picture: Dean Woolley.

It was then left to defenceman and assistant coach Mark Matheson to round off the scoring – again on the power play – when his speculative shot found its way past an unsighted Matt Ginn in the Storm goal.

Elsewhere, Steelers’ back-up netminder Brad Day enjoyed a winning start to his loan spell at Hull Pirates when he helped them to a 2-1 win in overtime at home to fierce rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in the NIHL North Cup.

It was a much-needed tonic for Jason Hewitt’s team, who had suffered a first league defeat of the season at Solway Sharks the previous night, going down 3-2.

It meant a disappointing weekend for Ben Morgan’s Steeldogs, however, as they had already lost out 5-1 at home to Telford Tigers in the North Cup the previous evening.