Sheffield Steelers 8 Dundee Stars 2
Steelers cruised into second spot after an easy 8-2 win over Dundee Stars.
The Scots have made nine previous wasted trips to iceSheffield - losing each time.
And it was never going to be much different this time as eight different home scorers got on the board.
Paul Thompson, seeking a “consistency that perhaps hasn’t always been there” witnessed some explosive firepower.
Home goalie Ervins Mustukovs, protecting a League-leading saves ratio, had to use his blocker to prevent Stsars’ Malcolm Gould in the first minute.
Once early defensive duties were done Steelers powered forward and Levi Nelson skated behind the net and delivered for Andreas Valdix to score at 4;03. Just 17 seconds later Andre Deveaux trickled the puck over the line for another.
Dundee briefly forced their way back and Taylor Dickin exploited a gap between Ervins Mustukovs and Zack Fitzgerald to half their deficit (6;16.)
Stars’ overworked goalie Travis Fullerton was the main reason they kept the scoreline down. But new dad Ben O’Connor celebrated the arrival of his offspring with a top-shelf drive at 12;47, for 3-1.
Sheffield had too much power, pace and depth for the next to bottom visitors, who were overwhelmed at times.
Kris Inglis gifted Steelers a goal at 22;05, fumbling the puck on the boards, then being outskated by Valdix, whose shot was rebounded to Nelson to convert.
Stars were reluctant to attack as when they lost the puck they were troubled by the speed of Steelers’ transition.
The home team had a spot of luck too - the puck powering off O’Connor’s backside to set up Andreas Jamtin, at 29;23.
Fitzgerald and Mathieu Roy were injured and Steelers had to kill penalties but still scored short-handed through Jonathan Phillips at 36;10 for 6-1.
Second string goalie Brad Day came on and after three saves conceded a consolation goal to Gould.
Sheffield have the League’s best Power Play and Rob Dowd illustrated that with a seventh before Scott Aarssen grabbed the eighth.