Joey Martin set up the opening goal, then scored 3 of his own as the Devils skated to a 7-3 win over the Steelers on Sunday night.
The victory gave the Devils the series win and a trip to Nottingham for the Playoff Finals next weekend. But it wasn’t easy as the Steelers tied the game up early in the final period before the Devils scored 3 unanswered goal to steal the win.
The Devils opened the scoring when Mark Richardson found Joey Martin behind the net then Martin spun around and fed Sean Bentivoglio who tapped the puck past Jackson Whistle to make it 1-0 at 4:03.
Martin doubled the lead with his first goal of the game at 17:46 with a powerplay strike, hammering in a rebound off of an Evan Mosey shot to make it 2-0.
The Devils gave up a shorthanded goal just 1:43 into the middle period with Jordan Owens scoring on a breakaway to beat Ben Bowns, but Mark Richardson restored the two-goal lead with a great rush up the ice and scored on his own rebound to make it 3-1 at 27:37.
The two-goal lead after 40 minutes meant the Devils held a 1 goal advantage in the aggregate scoreline as the game headed into the final period. But two quick goals from Sheffield, first from Eric Neiley then Jordan Owens again, tied the game up and put them in front on aggregate just 1:13 into the third period.
Then it was the Devils turn to score two quick goals, with Layne Ulmer tipping in a shot from Charles Linglet on the powerplay at 49:40 to tie the aggregate score. 39 seconds later Matthew Myers threw the puck through traffic at a tight angle and beat Whistle to restore the Devils lead.
Three minutes later, Joey Martin scored his second of the game with linemates Mike Hedden and Sean Bentivoglio assisting on the goal that put the Devils 6-3 in front and gave them a 2-goal cushion on aggregate.
With the Steelers pushing for a late goal, Martin tapped in a pass from Matthew Myers into the empty net for his hat-trick goal with 3 seconds left on the clock.
The win means the Devils advance to the Playoff Finals weekend next Saturday in Nottingham where they will face the hometown Nottingham Panthers in the single game semi-final with the winner advancing to the Playoff Final on Sunday afternoon.
Photo Credit: Dave Williams & Helen Brabon