Elite League: Sheffield Steelers 8-0 Belfast Giants

Ben O'Connor scored twice for the Steelers in a dominant display
Ben O'Connor scored twice for the Steelers in a dominant display

Belfast Giants' prospects of catching Cardiff Devils at the top of the Elite League standings have been severely dented after a 8-0 away loss to Sheffield Steelers.

Ben O'Connor and Matt Marquardt scored two goals apiece as the Steelers condemned the Giants to back to back defeats.

Liam Kirk, Levi Nelson, Andreas Jamtin and Jonathan Phillips also netted for the home side.

The Giants now trail Cardiff by seven points having played one game more.

The Steelers survived an early penalty against Davey Phillips without conceding and quickly took the lead when back to full strength as Kirk scored the opener.

O'Connor, Nelson and Jamtin also found a way past Jackson Whistle in the Giants net as the home side raced into a four goal lead in the opening 10 minutes.

Any hopes of a recovery by the visitors were ended when O'Connor got his second goal seven minutes into the second period.

Marquardt's brace in the third period came either side of a shorthanded goal by Phillips as the Steelers registered a home win against the Belfast side for the first time this season.

Cardiff Devils won 3-2 at Coventry Blaze to increase their lead at the top of the Elite League standings to seven points.

The Giants will now turn their attention towards the Challenge Cup as they return to Nottingham to take on the Panthers in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday, 31 January.

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