Sheffield Steeldogs hammer Bees to set up pivotal Spring Cup showdown with Telford Tigers

SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS head into next weekend’s double-header with Telford Tigers aware it could ultimately determine who triumphs in the NIHL National Spring Cup.

ON TARGET: Liam Kirk scored four and added an assist in Sunday's 10-4 win over Bees IHC. Picture courtesy of Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.
ON TARGET: Liam Kirk scored four and added an assist in Sunday's 10-4 win over Bees IHC. Picture courtesy of Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

Both teams, who complete their three-game series on March 24, have won their opening six games, with the Steeldogs – top of the standings only on goal difference – following up Saturday’s 7-0 thrashing of Bees IHC on home ice with an equally comprehensive 10-4 road win last night.

Meanwhile, Telford did the double over Swindon Wildcats, hammering their hosts 9-2 on Saturday afternoon before returning to Shropshire to win 7-2 24 hours later.

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Liam Kirk was the star of the show for the Steeldogs in Slough – the Bees’ new home – scoring four goals, with Jason Hewitt and Alex Graham grabbing two apiece. Jonathan Phillips also got on the scoresheet, with 17-year-old Jack Brammer completing the scoring, while Ben O’Connor weighed in with four assists, adding to his three the previous evening.

HERE TO HELP: Defenceman Ben O'Connor weighed in with seven assists across the two nights against Bees IHC. Picture courtesy of Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

Whereas Saturday night’s win on home ice was never in doubt, the Bees were more of a match for the Steeldogs in the first period, who only went in 3-2 ahead through Hewitt’s second of the night at 19.31.

But, similar to the previous evening, a deluge of goals early in the second period determined the outcome of the game, the Steeldogs firing themselves into a 7-2 lead within four minutes of the restart.

On Saturday, two goals apiece for Nathan Salem, Hewitt and Graham, plus one for Ben Lake, ensured the Steeldogs enjoyed a comfortable night.

Defenceman Tim Smith chipped in with two assists, while 18-year-old Graham enjoyed a 2+3 night as the hosts dominated all over the ice.

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