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8th September 2007
|Referee: N Boniface|
|Match complete||Cardiff Devils|
|1 : 2 : 2 = 5||Goals||0 : 0 : 1 = 1|
|11 : 7 : 8 = 26||Shots||7 : 9 : 12 = 28|
|8 : 6 : 69 = 83||Penalties in Minutes||18 : 0 : 34 = 52|
Sheffield Steelers 5-1 Cardiff Devils
Both sides at full strength (Cardiff still to sign one import defenceman).
3640 saw the hockey season come back with a bang as the fast skating Steelers skated rings round a Devils side strong on size with Joey Talbot bagging two. Devils will certainly be formidable at home and the scoreline flattered Steelers slightly with netminder Jody Lehman producing a string of fine saves. Alas, it all got bit niggly in the end with Devils' Brad Voth at the centre of much of it.
After a checking from behind hit in the opening period which earned the Devil 12 minutes in the penalty box, an early second period hit put Steelers' Jeff Legue out of the game. This left the home side two skaters down as Rod Sarich stopped icing in the opening period. The middle period passed quietly but with under 8 minutes of the game remaining the home side's new enforcer Jeremy Cornish objected to another Voth challenge and the pair went toe-to-toe for fighting majors. Cornish couldn't resist showboating to the fans before entering the penalty box however and ref Boniface had little choice but to assess him a 10 minute misconduct which ended Cornish's night.
Six minutes later, a bad hit from Steelers' Randy Dagenais on Devils' player-coach Gerad Adams triggered a melle, with Dagenais exiting on a major kneeing penalty. But still the ejections weren't finished, with Voth assessed a game misconduct for slashing with just 7 seconds remaining in the game. Sheffield's Ashley Tait earned himself a match penalty which the ref declined to clarify further.
So Sheffield finish the night top of the league on goal difference, but with 5 players failing to finish the game and one of them (Ashley Tait) suspended for tomorrow night's trip to Coventry.
An ill-disciplined opening period saw Talbot net at the back post (3:31) with Deschatelets sitting a slashing penalty. Ex-Steeler Phil Hill might have levelled 2 minutes later but put his chance wide as Doug Sheppard sat a tripping minor.
Both netminders made good stops, Phil Osaer denying Rod Sarich and Jody Lehman turning aside Max Birbraer's effort from close range.
Sheffield doubled their lead early in the second. Sheppard reacted first when Jason Hewitt's shot from the opposite side came back off the boards (22:03).
Four minutes later Osaer recovered after dropping Ashley Tait's wrist shot. But 10 minutes later Lehman was the one thankful to see the puck stay out after stopping Tyson Teplitsky's booming shot which produced a mass scramble around his goal crease before play was whistled down. That was whilst Steve Munn sat a hooking penalty and with Steelers back at full strength they extended their lead with a lightning break up the right. Sheppard's pass was converted at the far post by Hewitt as he dived full length to connect with the puck (34:24).
With Sheffield killing another Munn penalty (high sticks), Lehman did well to turn aside another close-range effort from Birbraer.
Early in the third Lehman did it again, this time denying Teplitsky from close-in, but within 2 minutes Osaer was blanking Ashley Tait at the other end after another slick passing move.
Sheffield made it four shortly after Jonathan Phillips returned from a holding penalty, Sheppard digging the puck off the left boards to Ashley Tait who had time and space to fire home in style (49:47).
But three minutes later it all started to turn a little sour as Cornish and Voth dropped the gloves.
With the combatants off the ice and Cardiff on a powerplay, Lehman produced a fine double save blanking Mike Garrow's shot from distance and ensuring Deschatelets couldn't lift home the rebound at the near post. Instead Talbot raced up the ice for another stylish strike, this time short-handed (54:18).
Devils kept at it though, and a suicidal attempt by Lehman to fire the puck up the middle of the ice was blocked by Matus Petricko who gleefully broke Lehman's shut-out (54:32).
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