Sheffield Steelers overcome Manchester Storm to maintain perfect start to Elite League Challenge Cup campaign
The 6-3 win came just three nights after the Steelers had beaten the same opponents 6-1 in their first Group C encounter at the Utilita Arena.
Kevin Tansey put the Steelers ahead inside six minutes on the power play in Altrincham and it was a lead the visitors extended to 3-0 before the halfway point with further goals from Josh Nicholls and defenceman Colton Saucerman, the latter also on the man advantage.
But Manchester rallied impressively and, by the end of the second period, it was a one-goal game thanks to power play strikes from Joe Morrow and Johnny Cornell within 38 seconds of each other - the first a 5-on-3 effort.
They then hauled themselves level at 42.07 through Tyler Hinam and that is how the game remained until the most crucial strike just under 10 minutes later.
It went the way of the Steelers when Marc-Olivier Vallerand skated clear to fire past Evan Weninger for what proved to be a game-winning shorthanded strike at 52.02.
Four minutes later, Mark Simpson scored on another odd-man rush to make it 5-3 before Vallerand added an empty-net strike with 58 seconds remaining.
“It was the first time playing in this rink for a lot of our guys,” said Steelers’ assistant-coach, Beston-Will.
“We were up a couple and then got into some penalty trouble in the second - they scored a big 5-on-3 goal and another one soon after from a 5-on-4 situation.
“But we came out in the third to simplify our game and got the two points. It was a big short-handed goal to start that off, then we capitalised on another couple of chances to get the job done.”
The Steelers return to regular season league action on Sunday when they hosts Dundee Stars at the Utilita Arena (face-off 4pm).