Manchester Storm defeated arch rivals Sheffield Steelers 4-3 in this Challenge Cup match at the MEN Arena. Storm got revenge for last week’s 8-4 drubbing at the hands of the Steelers.
Sheffield got the early advantage through Jason Sessa’s thirteenth minute goal, assisted by Warren Norris after both sides had started well. Storm hit back however in the last five minutes of the first period. Colin Pepperall marked a superb display with the equalising goal on the powerplay after Cardarelli and Preston had linked up. Great Britain captain David Longstaff then got a goal against his former club, Geoff Peters switching it to him to slap into the unguarded side of the goal. It was a big goal for Storm, 16 seconds before the end of the first period.
Manchester Storm extended their lead in the middle of the second period with an outstanding goal. Shawn Maltby bust out of defence and sucked the Steelers defenceman across and fed Storm skipper Ivan Matulik who smacked the puck past Steelers netminder Trevor Prior. It all looked done and dusted for the Storm and they sat back and defended.
Storm continued to frustrate Sheffield with some great defensive work until the 48th minute when Chris Szysky scored a crucial powerplay goal after a horrible defensive error. Rhett Gordon, the star of Ayr Scottish Eagles Challenge Cup success last season, completed the comeback in the 51st minute to make it 3-3. Storm hit back almost immediately though to keep the home fans happy, Matulik bundling the puck home after a scramble near the goal. A thoroughly entertaining ‘War of the Roses’ battle ended in a Manchester Storm victory, 4-3 over Sheffield Steelers.