Sheffield Steelers prepared for their festive double-header against Nottingham Panthers in prom,ising style with a comfortable 3-0 win over Braehead Clan
It arrested a two-game losing streak for Paul Thompson’s players following losses to Cardiff Devils and Fife Flyers the previous weekend. But a 6-1 Challenge Cup quarter-final second leg win over Dundee Stars and Saturday night’s shut-out of John Tripp’s side has ensured the South Yorkshire club go into their Christmas celebrations in joyous mood.
An even first period remained goalless but it didn’t take the hosts long to break the deadlock after the restart when Matt Marquardt slapped one past Ryan Nie in the Braehead goal at 21.38.
But the Clan proved a more resolute opponent than their previous visit to South Yorkshire when they were trounced 6-0 across the way at Ice Sheffield, leaving Steelers’ plenthy to do when the teams came back out for the third period.
The pressure eventually told in the 49th minute when Colton Fretter’s shot from the right flew past Nie to double the hosts’ advantage, a late Mathieu Roy empty net goal confirming the win, while Braehead were left to contemplate a seventh straight defeat.