The new season is upon us. The Elite League proper begins this evening with the Devils heading up to Sheffield for a highly anticipated grudge match. Whatever happens in Sheffield tonight, the opportunity for redemption will come tomorrow evening at the Big Blue Tent as the fixture is reversed. Our very own Simon Rafferty has written the match preview, complete with a run-down of the new Steelers roster. www.the-inferno.co.uk/news/opening-weekend-devils-vs-steelers/ As always you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, it’s me, Steve in the hot-seat tonight. Get in touch!
Not long to now! Lets make MNL interactive - get in touch, email@example.com
Elsewhere in the league we have Nottingham at Hull, Belfast at Braehead, Coventry at Dundee, and Edinburgh at Fife – I will update you with relevant news from those games throughout the evening.
Both teams are hoping to be at full strength this evening. Whilst Phil Hill did not ice for the Devils on Wednesday evening, hopes are for a full roster tonight.
A few early positive predictions...Viv and Budgie think 3-2 Devils, and Sam Michelle think 3-1 Devils. The best thing about this time of year...no one really knows! Dont forget to read the Inferno's match preview for the low-down on the Steelers roster
Well we're a positive bunch tonight. Matt and Soph are hoping for 3-2 Devils and Luke Burnett thinks 2-1 Devils. Sounds like a tight match. News from Sheffield is that both teams are warming up, and that Dave Simms is still the announcer. Nevermind :(
Phil Hill is taking part in the warmup - looks like both teams are at full strength
The warmups are over. Next time the guys hit the ice its for real! Welcome to Al Beer of 'Birbraer's Clan' in Canada (i think). My texters are complaining that the Steelers jersey numbers are a little small! You may have to bear with us. Hopefully they wont do anything worth updating you about!
It seems the crowd is a little thin! That's not good news for anyone, but not surprising at the house of tin.
The Hull v Nottingham game is underway. I'm pleased to report that a certain Corey Neilson has already found his way into the penalty box! Some things never change.
Great traveling support for the Devils, not so great from the locals though. James says 'they've all come dressed as blue seats'!
Don't forget to check out the inferno for information on away travel if you fancy a trip away in future.
The lights are down and the (awful) music in on! The officials take to the ice
A slight bit of housekeeping - we are aware that some updates can 'go missing' on certain web-browsers. If you think you've missed something, clicking 'refresh' or 'f5' should sort it. I would ask that you don't keep hitting refresh all the time though as it may slow down the service for everyone. Thank you.
Andy Carson has the whistle tonight.
Special welcome to Danette and Kevin McRae in Nova Scotia and to the Batch's who are all watching, predicting a Devils win - 4-2.
Very little atmosphere and a very long video introduction apparently. The Steelers finally take to the ice
The first goal of the season goes to the Panthers' Matt Francis. Panthers 1-0 Hull
Well the lights are on, and here we go...
Sorry i lied, apparently they're now taking an age to announce all of the players. Well it is the first proper game of the season i suppose!
They've just sang some god-awful song before the game ;) At least now we can get on with it!
Hill, McRae and Deeds start for the Devils. Marsh and M Smith on D
Max, Blight and Faulkner on next
Penalty Steelers @ 18.47, guess who....Tylor Michel
2 mins for interference. Devils PP
Max forces a good save from DiCaro. Halfway through the Power Play
Steelers back to full strength. Poor Devils PP
4 mins played, very end-to-end so far.
Osaer forced to make a big save
DeCaro saves a long shot at 4.59
6 mins played 'pretty equal so far'
Maxim Birbraer at 12.55
Birbraer from Blight and Faulkner, an awesome cross ice pass with Max finishing the move
Devils penalty - K Smith 2 mins high sticks
Steeler PP forces Osear into a save
Osear working much harder than DeCaro on the PP
The Devils goal is timed at 07.05 not 12.55 - i forget they use a reverse clock in Sheffield
Maxi chance on the breakaway, not converted though
Devils back to full strength
Fantastic effort by Osear in killing that penalty
Quote 'the Bright, Faulkner and Birbraer line looks awesome already' Good news indeed
Stuuuuu goes close
The Steelers fans are silent already apparently. "More noise in a library...."
Steelers clear off the line at 11.46
Adams is playing up front this evening. The 3rd line at the moment is Adams, McKenzie and Davies.
Faulkner shoots on DeCaro. Sheffield are giving away too many rebounds apparently. Great!
Braehead are 2 goals up against Belfast in the after 5 mins - a statement of intent from them by the look of it
Devils generating chances, but also leaving Osaer too exposed at the back
Chris Blight reported to be playing very well
Milam goes close at 15.30
Osaer stops a 3 man Steeler breakaway! Come on Defence!
Birbraer shot is deflected out at 16.29. Now its the devils showing some dominance
Tylor Michel getting loads of stick from the Devils fans
17 mins played
18 mins played
It's gone a bit quiet! Fife 1 - 0 Edinburgh, and Dundee 1 - 0 Coventry
Osaer makes a big save at 18.45
Osaer makes a save at 19.58 and a tussle breaks out behind the net - well, it would be rude not to really!
Carson calls Deeds and 'some guy in Orange' for 2 minutes
Haha, that guy was Michel. Both assessed for roughing
And that concludes the first period.
Welcome to Keith in Aberystwyth, any Devils win will do. Also to Michelle Malley in Manitoba who fancies the Devils 4-3. I hope to be over in Alberta next month, so not too far away!
Spearsy is going for 3-2 Devils – I’ll ask about the attendance, I’m sure they’ll announce it at some point, unless they’re too embarrassed that is!
Right, well i've made the mistake of eating Nando's sauce without a drink nearby so i'm off to put my mouth under a tap. Up next...period 2!
General feedback - a pretty even first period. The first line of Max, Blight and Faulkner looks very effective. Osaer very busy, but very calm and seems to be up to the task. However, D needs to work harder and not rely on him too much.
Thanks Luke - shots on goal: Devils 12, Steelers 11
It's all gone a bit quiet? Anyone have any amusing stories?
Ohh, here we go the teams are coming out
No more goals around the league, Panthers, Clan, Stars and Flyers all leading their games
Both teams will have 5 skaters, but remember there's 1.58 of penalty time on the clock
Here we go, puck drops
It's 4on4 apparently, so much for coincidental minors. 58 seconds of pens left
Bernie tells me its 2-2 in the Hull v Panthers game, i guess the Elite site is running behind
Both teams go to even strength before Devils miss a huge opportunity with the net wide open
Penalty called on M Smith, 2 mins Tripping at 22.56
Another Devils penalty - a very poor delay of game call on Milam 22.59
I can't repeat the language used to describe that call by Carson. Now its 5on3 for 2 mins!
1 minute killed off
Goal Steelers with 14 seconds left to kill
Timed at 24.45 - Fata from Pecker
Additional assist, Limpwright. Devils now full strength
Penalty Steelers, Goertzen 2 mins for Charging
Steelers put the puck out of play just like the Devils did, but apparently this time it isn't Delay of Game so they don't get the additional penalty
1.17 left on the PP
Maybe Mr Carson can ask his wife weather or not she thought it looked like a penalty from her Season Ticket seat!
This PP is much better, with shots getting through to DeCaro
'DeCaro almost fumbles it into his own net' 15 seconds left on the PP
Steelers back to full strength
Josh Batch floors Michel! Oh yeah!
Devils penalty, Davies 2 mins for hooking at 30.11
Devils need to stay out of the box if possible!
Another penalty on Birbraer, tripping this time at 30.47. 5on3 again!
Devils fans not best pleased 'Carson showing his colours'
Steelers in the crease, whistle blows. 56 seconds left to kill
Steelers hit the pipes, 1 Devils player re-joins
Now 36 seconds of 5on4 as the puck leaves the ice
Devils back to full strength
Big check by Phil Hill behind DeCaro's goal
Belfast have pulled one back - 2-1 Braehead, and Dundee have extended their lead in Coventry to 2-0
A very soft goal from a crazy angle apparently. Esders from Limpwright and Pecker
Another texter has described it as 'accidental goal' nothing Osaer could do about it. They still count though :(
More goalmouth pushing and shoving at 35.58
Batch 'nails' Fata. From henceforth i must insist that all Josh Batch checks be referred to as a 'Batch Slap'! Hahaha
Blight goes close on 37 mins
38 mins played
Didiomete starting to throw his weight around. 38.50
Devils icing at 39.34
Carson is 'very reluctant to call anything on the steelers'
Didiomete is having a go at Michel
And that's the end of the 2nd period
Texters report 'Michel didn't want to know' - that doesn't sound like the Michel we used to know! Well done Didiomete!
Let's hope the Devils can up their game in the 3rd. My sources are reporting that neither team is able to control the puck and settle into a rhythm. I guess that may be too much to ask for in week 1.
The 'House of Tin' isn't the best place to be if you're not a fan of Katy Perry apparently! Haha
We've had the first fight of the Elite season in Dundee. Olson has fought that well known fighter Tristan Harper!?!?! Thankfully he got the instigator misconduct aswell. If only he could play hockey...
The shots on goal for the second period: Devils 11, Steelers 5
The officials are out for the third
The teams are out
A quick update from Cardiff - the NIHL (formerly ENL) Devils are 4-2 up against Chelmsford
Also a big shout out to everyone at the Big Blue Tent, apparently we are being shown on the screens around the rink! Thanks guys and girls!
An end-to-end start to the 3rd period
Texters are again commenting on the lack of atmosphere. Once again, whilst i'm no Sheffield fan, it's not good news for the game!
Birbraer goes close after good offence from Ben Davies
Steelers icing 44.07
Final 3 mins in Hull - still 2-2, can they hold out? or even win it?
45 mins played, it's all Steelers at the moment!
Blight breaks free but DeCaro saves
Osaer saves at 45.55
Sheffield fans are asking the way to Amarillo, but they don't seem that interested!
Limpwright, 2 mins interference at 46.34
I spoke too soon, Panthers score 2 late goals to lead 4-2. 1 minute left in Hull. Thanks Claire.
Super, super Phil, Super Phil Hill!
Power Play Goal, Hill from Blight at 47.28
Another poor call on the Devils going forward - offside at 49.20
Osaer save at 49.39
Max gets hit straight into DeCaro's net!
Davies goes close, having another good game tonight
Devils icing at 52.14
Steelers turn to ice the puck at 52.41
McRae from Didiomete and Marsh at 53.02
"You could hear Steeler Dan (their mascot) fart from the far blocks its that quiet"
Missed opportunity for Devils at 54mins. Davies couldn't make the pass count.
Didiomete shot on DeCaro, saved.
Blight with a great shot on DeCaro
McKenzie playing well, particularly in the face off circle. 56.30
Adams makes a good clearance. 3mins left
"Awesome save Osaer"
2 minute warning!!! Come on Devils, close it out
Dodgy keeper chant from various parts of the rink!!!
Goal, Davies from McKenzie and Hill at 58.32
Birbraer flattens Goertzen, final minute
DeCaro pulled. Empty net...
Penalty Steelers, Michel 2 mins at 59.37 - Sheffield have imploded!!
Penalty was for tripping. Only seconds left.
WIN WIN WIN
The final score is Steelers 2 - 4 Devils. Devils scorers: Birbraer, Hill, McRae and Davies
Lots of very happy Devils fans up North. What a fantastic way to start the season.
No man of the match award called for the Devils. The Inferno are awarding it to Max Birbraer (so say Chris and James)
No Steelers man of the match award! Has Mr Simms forgotten? I guess he's at the front of the queue to get another autograph from Didiomete and forgotten all about it
Well that's it, thanks for tuning in. Tomorrow night will be interesting as the teams do battle again!
The Steelers are now announcing their 3 stars - i don't really care so we'll say goodnight. Don't forget to check the Inferno regularly for Devils news, player blogs, match previews and a little, tiny, minute bit of complaining on the forum!
Nos da pawb - Good night.