Sheffield Steelers boss spoiled for choice after twin Belfast Giants victories

Sheffield Steelers' Tyler Mosienko, scored three goals over the course of the weekend in Belfast.
Sheffield Steelers' Tyler Mosienko, scored three goals over the course of the weekend in Belfast.

Consecutive wins at title contenders Belfast Giants may be persuasive evidence that Sheffield Steelers can again bring home the silverware this year.

But if they can get two points at league leading Cardiff Devils on Sunday, then they will have made an even stronger case.

Before we get too giddy, other challenges lie in between: a prickly Tuesday Cup night at Fife Flyers and a home date with the team who would love to knock Steelers off their perch, Nottingham Panthers.

However, second-place Sheffield now has momentum that confidence brings as they head into the home straight.

Their double win in Northern Ireland saw both sides of their most efficient game - awesome firepower in the 6-2 win on Friday and redoubtable defence in protecting a 3-1 lead for half an hour on Saturday.

Coach Paul Thompson couldn’t quite decide which facet he admired most. “On Friday the four quick goals we scored was exciting. On Sunday we knew we’d be up against it and I was gratified how we absorbed pressure and hit back on the counter. We defended 200 feet from our end. Overall, I was most impressed with our commitment, everybody bought in to what we wanted to do beautifully. Our best players were blocking shots and making things happen.”

Belfast were anxious to put the defeat the night before behind them, and Brandon Benedict seemingly delivered that with a goal at 2;29. Sheffield were not going to be over-run and Jeff Legue equalised with a bank-hander.

At 29:17, Tyler Mosienko scored on the Power Play, his third goal of the weekend to put Steelers ín the lead for the first time, Conny Stromberg staking his first Steelers’ point. Just 39 seconds later, Roy got his third of the weekend to make it 3-1.

Steelers were happy to play ugly, icing the puck when they had to and man of the match Marek Pinc was confident when Belfast got through to him.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was what had to be done, and was appreciated, at least, by the noisy Steelers fans who had made the trip.

Pinc’s 31 saves had confirmed Sheffield were right back at the centre of the title pack.