Steelers coach Aaron Fox was unhappy after Davey Phillips was ordered off
Steelers coach Aaron Fox was unhappy after Davey Phillips was ordered off

Saturday’s 7-4 annihalation of Nottingham Panthers was followed by a 6-0 home win over Manchester Storm.

Aaron Fox’s men had extended their lead at the top of the qualifying group with 11 points from a possible 12.

Overall they have won 12 of their 16 games in cup and league.

And goalie Matt Greenfield has now had shutouts in three of his last six outings.

Sunday’s first period presented something of a mystery – how could Steelers fail to score from all their gilt-edged chances?

Daniel Ciampini thought he had done just that after 29 seconds but goaltender Hayden Lavigne conveniently knocked the net off.

That was followed by a series of opportunities that somehow eluded the rigging.

Brett Neumann’s speed sent him clear twice but he couldn’t find the pass or shot.

Kevin Schulze bobbled the puck over Lavigne, who hooked it off the line with his stick – the Steelers’ defencemen then went on to hit the post.

At the other end, Brendan Connolly, on makeshift defensive duties, stopped Jordy Sallard one a one-on one, but Davey Phillips was ejected for allegedly checking Jesper Öhrvall to the head.

The Swedish winger appeared to have had his head low, but that fact didn’t influence the officials.

Brandon McNally takes on Chays Ruddy. Picture: Dean Woolley

Sheffield killed a five minute penalty, fashioning chances for Scott Allen and Martin Allen along the way.

Eventually, they breached the dam.

Ex-Steeler Anthony DeLuca, back at Sheffield Arena on Storm’s top line, took a roughing call at 33:52 and on the power play Matt Petgrave’s shot was deflected home by Neumann.

Just 37 seconds later it was 2-0, with the puck falling kindly to Danny Kristo.

Mason Mitchell and Brandon Whistle at the sharp end

A sideshow fight between Brandon McNally and Chays Ruddy warmed the 6,113 crowd up before Sheffield notched twice in 30 seconds.

Latal had as much time as he needed to make it three before the contest was effectively ended as Ciampini roofed the puck.

Storm’s defence had capitulated – and there was more punishment to come.

Brandon Whistle’s penalty brought up 5-0 on the board.

Adam Raska tapped in a late sixth.

*Saturday saw Steelers chalk up a Cup win in Nottingham, despite the fact Panthers took the lead three times in the first 17 minutes.

Just two minutes in, Tanner Sorenson scored; Ciampini almost immediately levelling.

David Levin put Notts ahead again, only for Kristo to make it 2-2.

The pattern continued with a PP goal for Brett Welychka, a lead which was neutralised on the other side of the first interval by Martin Latal’s eight strike of the campaign.

Steelers briefly showed they couldn’t hold a lead too – Kristo’s effort brought up 4-3 on the board only for Adam Brady to equalise.

Then, as Panthers coach Gary Graham later admitted, Nottingham forgot how to defend.

The away fans were off their seats when Robert Dowd potted Sheffield’s fifth of the night.

For the first time one of the teams edged ahead by two – Whistle doing the honours at 44:44 to ensure qualification.

Nottingham’s night ended badly as Neumann stroked in an empty-netter.

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