Belfast Giants 2 Sheffield Steelers 6

Mathieu Roy back for Sheffield Steelers with a bang at Belfast Giants
Mathieu Roy back for Sheffield Steelers with a bang at Belfast Giants

Sheffield Steelers vaulted into second place in the Elite League over Belfast Giants after a crushing 6-2 win in Northern Ireland.

The defending champions were 5-0 up at the half way stage after playing probably their best ever hockey at SSE Arena.

Sheffield coach Paul Thompson had known his side would need a share of the points over the two weekend games across the water.

But he couldn’t have dared have hoped for such a devastatingly efficient win over a previously buoyant Belfast.

Mathieu Roy - back in the side after a concussion injury - scored his 20th of the season to give Steelers a morale-boosting start at 4;47.

Sheffield’s top points-grabber Tyler Mosienko then helped himself to two goals in a minute to put Sheffield 3-0 up against a Giants side who had been riding on the crest three straight wins.

The first of his brace came on the Power Play - an area Sheffield had previously struggled with.

At 12;47 Fredrik Vestberg made it 4-0 to the astonishment of the home crowd - and possibly the away ones, given that Sheffield had split their last six games.

The interval team-talk in the home dressing room didn’t propel Belfast in the right direction.

Instead, Roy scored his second of the night to remind coach Paul Thompson what he’d been missing.

It wasn’t until 34;01 until Giants got on the scoreboard, Craig Peacock giving the Irish a flicker of hope.

Belfast, without their top goal scorer Mike Radja, could have gone further behind when new Steeler Conny Stromberg pinged the cross bar.

If goals weren’t enough Guillaume Desbiens emerged the victor of a fight with Mitch Ganzak.

Belfast score the majority of their goals in the third period and they doubled their tally at 52;21 on the Power Play through Chris Higgins.

But goalie Marek Pinc, who started the night with the lowest save percentage in the League, (88.9) and his defence absorbed the inevitable late pressure.

And one of his blue-liners, Ben O’Connor joined the rush to score Steelers sixth at 57;19 to rub salt in Belfast’s wounds.