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Steelers win Grand Slam!

Photo: Dean Wooley

Sheffield Steelers clinched the 2024 Playoff title with a 3-1 victory over Belfast Giants at the Motorpoint Arena, giving them their first Grand Slam since 2001 and first ever in the Elite League era.

Belfast failed to capitalise on two early powerplays, calling Matt Greenfield into a couple of excellent stops across his crease, as the Steelers held out through the opening stages.

With 15:11 gone, Greg Printz was called for a major boarding penalty which led to the first ever video review for a major penalty in the UK. The game officials confirmed the major but stopped short of giving an ejection.

The Steelers punished that penalty with two goals. Daniel Ciampini was left all alone to slot home at the far post to put Sheffield ahead at 15:49, while Mikko Juusola got on a loose puck in front to double their lead 35 seconds later.

Belfast struggled to generate much sustained offensive zone pressure in the middle period, but got themselves back into the game shortly before the end of the period. While Scott Allen sat a roughing call, Blake Speers converted a perfect Ara Nazarian feed to the short side to beat Greenfield with eight seconds left in the period.

Period three saw the Giants come close to tying the game on a couple of chances, but on each of them they found Greenfield there to keep the puck out. Kevin Tansey sealed the Grand Slam with an empty netter from below his own goal line as the Steelers took a 3-1 win.

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