With 19 goals in two games between these two, this mid-afternoon showdown between Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers promised to serve up another goal fest.
Storm went into the game knowing they could deliver another defeat to Steelers, who remain top of the standings. The pre-match question was, would they?
04 Apr 21: Steelers 4 Storm 5
11 Apr 21: Storm 4 Steelers 6
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📊 WHO WILL WIN? 📊
— British Ice Hockey 🏒 (@BritIceHockey) April 18, 2021
SHEFFIELD STEELERS 2 MANCHESTER STORM 3
Ciaran Long’s late winner ended Manchester Storm’s three game losing streak, while handing Sheffield Steelers their second loss on the trot in the process.
It was another tight affair between these two, with Ryan Finnerty’s side edging a five-goal thriller in inflict Sheffield’s third defeat of the competition and their second against Manchester.
Aaron Fox rewarded netminder Curtis Warburton with a start after his good performance in Friday’s loss to Nottingham Panthers.
His faith looked in good hands when the young goalie denied Ben Lake with an excellent save, sweeping right to left to make a glove save when it looked like a certain goal.
However it was Manchester who took the lead when Steelers were caught out in a line change, with Fortier delivering a low finish to put them in front.
Both sides had plenty of chances in the second period, with Sean Bonar in particular kept busy by a Sheffield offence keen to get back on level terms.
It finally came from them after the halfway mark when Josef Mikyska beat the Storm goalie with a well hit wrist shot.
The game moved into the final seven minutes, with still no indication of where the points were going to go until Andreas Klavestad stepped up.
The Norwegian blasted a shot from the blue line that took a deflection, nicked off a defenceman on the way and bounced in past Warburton to restore Manchester’s lead on the powerplay.
Long applied the icing on the cake with another powerplay finish, taking a pass from Tyson Fawcett and slammed the shot into the net.
Kevin Schulze pulled one back in the last minute, blasting home after an excellent drop pass from Sondre Olden to close the gap, but it was as much as Steelers could muster as they tasted defeat again.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Steelers 38 Storm 30
Steelers – Josef Mikyska (31:54 – Dowd, Beaudry PP); Kevin Schulaze (59:03 – Olden, Connolly SH)
Storm – Max Fortier (09:22 – Simmonds); Andreas Klavestad (53:29 – Gran, Fortier PP); Ciaran Long (57:04 – Fawcett, Critchlow)