Originally published in The Cat’s Whiskers Issue #1 October 2000

Nottingham Panthers 1 Sheffield Steelers 7 –  Game report by Richard Short

Sheffield Steelers march towards the grand slam continued today after a stunning display at The House of Steel where the game had been switched due to a request from referee Andy Carson who said it was the only venue where he could ensure fair play and get away with it.
Steelers went ahead just before the face-off when Kayle Short’s pass sent the linesman away down the right flank. His cross was handled on the half-way line by Jimmy Paek, and Carson awarded a penalty shot. Rick Brebant stepped up to slot the puck home for his 65th penalty shot of the season, after hitting both posts and the bar. It was no more than Steelers deserved.
The 15th minute saw the Steelers go two up after Duncan Patterson was penalised for coughing. He received 2+2+2 for his trouble. Steve Roberts pass was struck first time by Kent Simpson, hit the back of Daryl Lavoie’s skate, bounced up, struck the rim of a spectator’s spectacles and floated, assisted by a freak wind, into the top corner of Jordan Willis’s net. It was no more than Steelers deserved.
The 17th minute saw more trouble for Panthers, when P C Drouin got a match penalty for inquiring about referee Carson’s teal shirt. Two minutes before the interval Panthers struck back after an amazing piece of good fortune, Jamie Leach hitting home the rebound after a shot had been stopped on the line by Carson. Sheffield Steelers could scarcely believe their bad luck. Mike Blaisdell threw down his programme and wouldn’t talk to anyone for ten minutes. The start of the second period saw unsporting Casson Masters making ridiculous claims for a penalty after Dennis Vial had accidentally beaten up Ashley Tait. Carson had missed the incident due to his teal scarf flowing in his eyes. Ten minutes later Blazer made a tactical line change. He took off David Longstaff and replaced him with Dale Craigwell, Jason Weaver and Scott Metcalfe.
Steelers third came after David Struch had been caught offside in his own penalty area. Brebant took the resulting penalty shot, which bobbled home after hitting the underside of the scoreboard. Carson claimed the final touch. It was no more than Steelers deserved.
Super-marvel-wonder-Steelers goal number four came via Warren Norris after twenty-eight minutes of a 5 on 3 powerplay after Greg Burke and Ryan Gillis had been given game misconducts for looking at the clock. It was no more than Steelers deserved. So 4-1 at the end of the second period. The start of the final period saw Panthers Darryl Moxam have a goal disallowed as Mike Torchia’s net was off its moorings. Captain Jamie Leach was given an unsportsmanlike penalty and a game misconduct when he asked Carson if the net could actually be put on the ice. Steelers hit their fifth goal after a rink long rush when Shane McCosh skated in unnoticed behind the zamboni before deking past Willis. It was no more than Steelers deserved. Panthers bad penalty run continued when Willis received a 5 plus game for squrting water over his helmet. The sixth goal came with Panthers back up netminder Eoin McInerney sitting out a “Too many men in the sin bin” call, and Steve Carpenter managed to bury the puck in the empty net on his fourteenth attempt. It was no more than Steelers deserved. With five minutes to go Blaisdell called Torchia off for an extra 10 forwards. Despite the heavywheight goalie taking 5 minutes to get over the boards, the tactic worked as Weaver tipped in the seventh goal. Assists were given to Roberts, Vial, Brebant, Craigwell, Metcalfe, McCosh, Simpson and Norris. But it was no more than Steelers deserved. After the game, coach Blaisdell would not comment on Carsons performance as referee, and said that after video evidence had been sent in he was sure the score would be changed to a more respectable 10-0.

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