Sheffield Steelers 4-0 Nottingham Panthers (final score)

More than 9,000 fans watched Sheffield Steelers dish out a Boxing Day battering to Nottingham Panthers today.

Panthers tried to rally in the third period, but their finishing was woeful and they got exactly what they deserved out of the game.

For Steelers, though, it was a confidence-boosting second Conference win of the season.

They will hope for a third tomorrow at Nottingham in the return fixture.

Paul Thompson's dominated much of the first period, with Nottingham taking four minor penalties, and could have been further ahead after that initial 20 minutes.

Josh Shalla had a chance for Panthers in the opening seconds, but then the visitors saw little action near Ervins Mustukovs' goal.

Levi Nelson scores against Nottingham

Levi Nelson scores against Nottingham

Left-hander Mark Matheson's creativity on the right flank led to a Power Play 1-0 goal for Levi Nelson.

Panthers' large travelling support were muted by their team's lack of offensive firepower.

While Sheffield had energy in abundance in Robert Dowd, Ben O'Connor and Andreas Jamtin.

And Nottingham were fortunate they were not further behind in the first period.

Sheffield's physical edge was a major influence in the middle session.

Davey Phillips took a roughing penalty when he retaliated following a hit on the boards on Matheson.

After serving his two minutes, Phillips rushed out of the box and plastered Dan Spang into the boards.

It took a while for Spang to get up after that hit, which was not penalised by the officials.

The incident briefly revitalised Nottingham, Raphael Bussieres having the best chance to beat Mustukovs - but couldn't achieve it.

Bussieres took a boarding call for what looked like a revenge hit on the boards on Phillips.

But it back-fired and on the power play, Matheson thrashed the puck home, with Nelson screening the net.

John Armstrong added a third, (assists Scott Aarssen, Tim Wallace) at 38:43.

It was a killer goal.

And the third period had a wretched start for Notts, too.

Brett Perlini missed an easy chance and Bussieres suffered a bloody, facial injury and went off.

Jeff Brown and Mathieu Gagnon wasted other opportunities.

But when Mark Derlago tripped Jonas Westerling, Mathieu Roy cashed in on the Power Play - celebrating his side's fourth goal of the night with some aplomb.

The night ended with Mustukovs' second successive shut-out at the Arena.