Ice hockey Challenge Cup: Sheffield Steelers 6-2 Cardiff Devils

Ervins Mustukovs makes a save for Steelers
Ervins Mustukovs makes one of his 38 saves for Sheffield Steelers against Cardiff Devils

Sheffield Steelers will take a four-goal advantage to Cardiff Devils after a comfortable Challenge Cup semi-final first-leg win.

It was the first of four matches in eight days that could have a huge bearing on Devils' season.

Devils now travel for two Elite League games at second-placed Belfast Giants on 2 and 3 February.

Leaders Devils are seven points ahead of Giants and will hope to overhaul Steelers in the 7 February rematch.

Matt Pope and Joey Haddad scored for the visitors at Sheffield.

But it was not enough as Tom Wallace, Scott Aarssen, Ben O'Connor, Mathieu Roy, Matt Marquardt and Levi Nelson underlined Steelers' domination.

Last season's Challenge Cup final was hosted in Cardiff, with the Devils taking the first of three trophies by beating Steelers 3-2.

The 2017-18 Challenge Cup final on Sunday, 4 March will again be at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff and Devils are desperate not to miss out in their own home.

Devils chief executive Todd Kelman says the games against Belfast represent "a huge weekend for both teams".

Kelman added: "Both teams have the intention of a big four-point weekend, which is huge for either club.

"That's what we are going there for and that's what we hope to come back with."

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