Horror show for Sheffield: Cardiff Devils 6-0 Steelers

Ben O'Connor and Jackson Whistle watch the puck flash past them
Ben O'Connor and Jackson Whistle watch the puck flash past them

Steelers were very firmly put in their place at league-leading Cardiff Devils.

On Saturday, Sheffield had beaten the then-team at the top, Belfast Giants, at home, with plenty to spare with a 4-1 margin.

Sunday was a whole different matter.

Steelers, who had lost all four previous encounters with the champions, suffered a middle period cave-in to eventually plummet 0-6; their third shut out, this season. For Sheffield, it put into perspective Saturday's win while Cardiff breathed new life in their title ambitions.

Steelers' goalie Jackson Whistle, in eye-catching form in Saturday's 4-1 over Giants, had a full-blooded introduction to the game with a shot slamming into his face mask. It didn't seem to unnerve him though - he was at his most acrobatic in a save shortly afterwards.

The crossbar came to his rescue when Evan Mosey found space in the slot.

Batch of bad news for Steelers

Batch of bad news for Steelers

Both sides killed penalties before GB centre Matthew Myers opened the scoring, following contributions from Josh Batch and Mark Louis at 13:55.

Steelers gave no sign of the implosion that befell them in a horrible middle period.

Ninety nine seconds in, with Eric Neiley serving a cross checking penalty, Layne Ulmer scored on the power play, benefitting from traffic in front of Whistle.

Four minutes later, Devils rang up a 3-0 scoreline with Sean Bentivoglio getting in on the act. With Anthony DeLuca sitting out for hooking, Ulmer again enjoyed himself at Steelers expense with the fourth of the night. That signalled the end of action for Whistle, who was brought off in favour of Brad Day.

Ryan Martinelli, man of the match against Belfast

Ryan Martinelli, man of the match against Belfast

The Yorkshire netminder had only been on six minutes when Mosey converted a fifth - the last meaningful action in a period which amounted to a proper spanking for the visitors.

There was no busting urgency for Cardiff to score more, but they did bring out the best in Day on a couple of occasions.

While Neiley and Tanner Eberle had half-chances on Ben Bowns. But Myers was more decisive, potting Cardiff's sixth at 54:54.

Anthony DeLuca, Saturday night goalscorer

Anthony DeLuca, Saturday night goalscorer