Ice Hockey

‘We are number one’

They’ve done it again.

Twenty four hours ago, the Sheffield Steelers claimed their fifth Elite League championship, and second in as many years.

After downing the Panthers on Saturday night at the arena (4-3), Paul Thompson and the rest of the Sheffield organisation made the long journey north to the Fife Ice arena for the super Sunday finale.

A point in Kirkcaldy would secure top spot and see the Steelers lift back to back championships, something only the Coventry Blaze have managed previously to do until now.

The away side, supported by a couple hundred travellers of the orange army, got off to the perfect start in what has proved to be a very hostile arena for many away teams this year.

At 12:21, Sheffield broke shorthanded as Ben O’Connor intercepted a loose pass before breaking over the red line with Mosienko and Desbiens in support.

O’Connor squared the puck to Desbiens who all but seemed to run out of space before delicately feeding the puck behind him and right onto the tape of Mosienko who had a simple tap in.

Just over a minute later and it was 2-0.

Jace Coyle lined up a shot on the blue line after good work from Ferrara behind the net, this shot was deflected out in front by the ever present Mathieu Roy and the puck found its way past David Brown in the Flyers goal.

13:46 into the first period and Sheffield were showing no signs of nerves.

Excellent fore-checking and a dogged defence gave limited shooting opportunities to the home team who were chasing the two points in aid of claiming the conference title.

Todd Dutiaume must have offered some very stern words in the Fife dressing room following a very poor first period, as the second was totally the opposite.

Sheffield were struggling to keep hold of the puck, chances were few and far between and Fife were playing with an extra buzz in their stride.

All their hard work payed off at 35:47, after a lovely give and go between Dingle and Stockton ensured a nerve-wracking finish was on the cards.

A tale of three periods it was, as the Steelers came out in the third just how they left the first period.

Led by the tenacity of Mosienko, Legue and Hewitt on the forecheck. A big body presence from Desbiens and work man like performances from the rest of the roster put the final nail in the Elite League coffin.

Coyle again involved as a stretch pass to Conny Stromberg allowed the Swede to weave his magic as he deked round the defender before putting the puck on goal.

It was only fitting that the final touch was to come off the leg of Mathieu Roy who was parked in his usual spot.

And that was that.

The game finished 3-1 and despite Cardiff beating Nottingham 4-3 the same night it was too little too late.

Cardiff had blown their chance to lift their first Elite League title long before the final weekend.

So Sheffield remain number one, and have earned themselves a spot in next seasons Champions Hockey League which promises to be a cracker.

Champions again. Deserved champions.

The future is orange!


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