Sheffield Steelers win play off title and make history

Sheffield Steelers win play off title and make history

10 Apr 2017Robert Newbolt»

In beating Cardiff Devils the Sheffield Steelers of the EIHL became the second team in UK history to have ten Play Off wins the other being the franchise of Edinburgh/Murrayfield.


On the day that Sheffield Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips became the most capped Sheffield Steeler (683) the team in orange prevented Cardiff Devils from gaining a Grand Slam of trophies by defeating them in the play off final.

The game was gruelling for the players as it wasn’t until five minutes from the end of the second overtime that Levi Nelson was able to swoop on a loose puck, drive towards the net and fire high past Ben Bowns in the Cardiff goal for the game winner.

The difference between two very even sides was very slight but the fact that Paul Thompson ran with four lines for the whole game as against Cardiff who dropped to three lines for half the game was a telling factor.

Cardiff started brightly enough: in actual fact they appeared to have the game sewn up thanks to three first period goals two of these on a very effective powerplay. At this stage Steelers seemed to be just hanging on.

However, not to be outdone, (and one wonders what the Coach had to say) Sheffield came out hard in the second period. Walker got Steelers to within one goal with a speculative shot from the point. But then, perhaps the goal of the game, Colton Fretter dipsy doodled around two players before backhanding it under Ben Bowns in the Devils goal.

Cardiff were obviously shaken and decided to resort to physical play but Mark Louis was a little over eager with a hit and was called for a penalty. The momentum was with the Steelers at this time and a powerplay was just what they needed and Mathieu Roy stuck a fierce shot on goal and with the help of Levi Nelson the Steelers took the lead.  

There was now relentless pressure from Sheffield but Joey Haddad broke free to tie the game up again after 32 minutes.

Sheffield killed a dubious penalty then Nilsson tried a shot, miscued, the puck fell to Walker who scored blocker side on Bowns.

At the beginning of the third Sheffield were attempting to kill a 4 on 3 penalty but Andrew Hotmam broke through, put the puck on net and it ricocheted of Jonathan Phillips into the goal to level the scores.

The overtime periods were dominated by a fresher-looking Steelers side; Armstrong had a puck cleared off the line before Ben Bowns made a miraculous toe save from Colton Fretter to keep the scores level. It was end to end action until the ninety fourth minute when Nelson made the crucial play.

Man of the match: Cardiff Devils Ben Bowns.  Sheffield Steelers Colton Fretter  


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