Nottingham, with four players out including ex Steeler Chris Lawrence, had a bright enough start but ran into penalty trouble and paid a heavy price.With Kristian Kudrok and then Steve Lee penalised, Steelers poured forward and Robert Dowd put Steelers ahead, at 11;33.Twenty five seconds later it was 2-0 with Colton Fretter scoring from close range past Jindrich Pacl.Every time Mike Ratchuk zipped forward from defence a goal looked on the cards.And the packed Sheffield Arena only had to wait until 13;35 when man of the moment Mathieu Roy polished off a John Armstrong rebound.
Steelers, wearing a specially-designed shirt with a Poppy motif, could have been 5-0 up and outshot the visitors 13-7 in the opening period.
Nottingham were a team drain of ambition and fire in the second period - as limp a performance from a Panthers' side as I can recall.Pacl seemed unsighted as Fretter got his second of the night at 21;17.But he and his defencemen yielded two more, too easily.Roy scored a sensational solo goal as he weaved away from markers and rifled in for 5-0 at 27;05.And Panthers d-man Jeff Dimmen only looked half interested as Ben O'Connor added another, after a phenomenal shift from Davey Phillips.*Steelers owner Tony Smith predicts a 9,300 sell-out when Nottingham Panthers return to the Arena on Boxing Day."As you can see there is no stupid rule in our league stopping us wearing a poppy" he said in his programme notes."It represented the millions who died in Flanders during the 1914-8 war. It was the only flower to grow on the barren battlefields where the worst of the fighting was.It is a celebration and a tradition which we should all respect."The club was auctioning off the shirts and making a donation to the Remembrance charity.
*Sheffield play at Dundee Stars on Sunday night.