How Sheffield Steelers can get their own back on a Cardiff Devils' team that has torn them apart at times this season

Cardiff beating Sheffield
Cardiff beating Sheffield

Cardiff Devils put a wrecking ball through the early part of Sheffield Steelers' season.

Then coach Paul Thompson had spent most of the previous Summer trying to find ways to catch up with the reigning champions in terms of quality and competitive edge.

But in their first game against Sheffield, Devils stamped their authority and proved he and his new-look squad were not going to achieve that.

When Tom Barrasso took over from Thompson, the American described his first experience of the Welsh side as "horrible."

It was a baptism of fire, a chastening 7-1 reverse.

However, Barrasso was the architect of the one, single win the South Yorkshire club has managed in six attempts, this term.

That was in the last game the two teams played.

Now Steelers have to make sure they ruin the end of Cardiff Devils' season...beating them over two legs this weekend and getting through to the play off finals at their expense.

The regular season game history, below, would suggest that it is an unlikely mission.

Steelers must play at a frantic four-line pace but with sound defensive judgment, for 120 minutes.

Steelers beating Cardiff

Steelers beating Cardiff

This is play off hockey...and anything is possible.

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Home, Sunday September 23, Steelers lost 6-2. Their scorers: Pitt, Phillips.

Assists: Eberle, Johnson, McFadden, Buzzeo.

An ill Jackson Whistle let in three from six shots in seven minutes.

Outshot 42-33.

Steelers were 4-0 after 13 minutes. At the end, boos rang around the Arena.

Thompson admitted there was a bigger gulf between the side rather than a smaller one - his plan was in disarray. Within three

games, he was gone.

Devils scorers: Dixon, 2, Moore, Ulmer, Reddick, Martin, Dixon.

Attendance: 6,059

Away, Saturday, October 20 Lost 1-7. Scorer: Della Rovere.

Asst Buzzeo.

Barrasso's third game in charge. 4-0 down in 10 minutes, Whistle pulled at that point.

Outshot 34-15.

Barrasso said it was "horrible."

Devils scorers: Pope, Dixon, Linglet,2, Fournier, 2, Ulmer.

Attendance: 3,095

Home, Wednesday, January 23 Lost 2-3. Scorers: Armstrong, Phillips.

Assists: Dowd, Owens, Pitt, McGrath, and Eberle. Steelers should have had a disallowed Matheson goal ruled in.

Outshot 32-22.

Neiley back from a hamstring injury.

Devils scorers: Martin, Morissette, Fournier.

Attendance: 4,174

Away, February 3. Lost 3-7. Scorers: Pitt, O'Connor, McGrath.

Assists: Eberle, Matheson, Armstrong, Neiley, Pitt and Owens.

3-1 up then conceded six straight. After 38 games at the helm, Barrasso commended the Welsh as an 'elite' club.

Shots tied 33-33!

Devils scorers Linglet, 2, Livingston, Hedden, Martin, Bentivoglio, Rutkis.

Attendance: 3,100

Away, Sunday, March 3. Lost 0-6.

Barrasso quote: "We were totally outplayed by a superior team...we had no answer."

Outshot 32-29.

Devils scorers: Myers, 2, Ulmer, Bentivoglio, Hedden, Mosey.

Attendance: 3,100

Home, Saturday, March 16. Won 5-4. DeLuca 4, JP

Assists DeLuca, DP,2, McGrath, 3, McFadden, O'Connor.

Barrasso's 50th game in charge.

Outshot 50-24.

Devils scorers: Richardson, Martin, Hedden, 2,

Attendance: 7,189