SHEFFIELD STEELERS sent out a strong message to their Elite League rivals when they hammered reigning champions Belfast Giants 5-0.
The win was enough to send Aaron Fox’s team three points clear at the top of the standings ahead of a weekend which brings further tough encounters against Cardiff Devils and Nottingham Panthers.
But last night at the FlyDSA Arena, the Steelers produced a stellar performance, against a third-placed Belfast team arriving on South Yorkshire fresh from back-to-back weekend wins in Cardiff.
The deadlock was broken at 16.46 with the Steelers on the power play which allowed Lucas Sandstrom to stroke the puck home.
Belfast enjoyed the greater number of chances in the second period but they were not as clinical on the night as the hosts,who doubled their lead through Anthony DeLuca at 28.28. Two became three just over a minute later when John Armstrong benefitted from some neat play by Nikolai Lemtyugov.
The game was then effectively over as a contest when DeLuca doubled his tally for the evening to make it 4-0 at 37.00.
A fifth goal - the second on the power play - was delivered with just over 10 minutes remaining by Armstrong, the Giants huffing and puffing but getting no reward for their efforts.