MATCH REPORT: Storm fall at home to Steelers in Challenge Cup game

The warm weather didn’t prevent a large crowd from forming in Manchester for the cities first competitive hockey match of the year.

Unfortunately, a poor first period and penalty late in the action cost the Storm, as they eventually went down 8-3 to the Steelers.

The visitors took the lead inside the first minute, as Ginn was beaten at his nearside by Eberle. A neat play from the Steelers saw them work the puck around the zone to double their advantage. A breakdown in defensive coverage and unfortunate deflection in-front of goal saw Mosey secure two in a row in his first period and hand the Steelers a 3-0 advantage. The remainder of the period saw an increased physical presence from the Storm, in an attempt to claw themselves back into the encounter.

The added forechecking pressure eventually paid dividends for the Storm, as McNulty seized on the puck in the attacking zone. A smart pass from Brady found Fawcett wide-open to guide the puck into the Steelers goal. However, a slapshot from Connolly restored the Yorkshire-based outfits three-goal advantage. A couple minutes later and captain Ehrhardt recorded his first goal of the season, after sweetly timing a shot from the backhand pass of Simmonds. The 4-2 scoreline in favour of Sheffield remained until the second intermission buzzer sounded.

The final period started positively for the Storm, as an excellent shot from Ehrhardt on the powerplay brought the hosts within one. However, the Steelers swiftly hit back to kill any chance of a third period turnaround when Eberle scored less than one minute later. The penalty assessed against Springer in the final eight minutes gave Sheffield a five-minute powerplay, during which they found the twine a further three times to complete a deserved victory.

Photo by Mark Ferriss (All Sports Photography)