Aaron Fox’s team already had one foot in the showpiece event – which they won for the first time in the Elite League era back in 2020 – following last week’s 6-0 demolition of the Blaze at the SkyDome Arena.
As expected, they didn’t skip a beat in making sure of their progressed as they secured a 10-1 aggregate win over their West Midlands rivals with a solid 4-1 win on home ice on Wednesday night.
“This was one of the goals we set at the start of the season,” said Steelers’ head coach, Fox. “It’s been a long process but we got there – one more game here and it’s pretty exciting that it is at this barn, the atmosphere will be through the roof.
“It was a pretty businessman like performance tonight, we did most of the heavy lifting last week and we just had to make sure that we managed that first period, didn’t give them any life, no momentum
“They came back from 4-0 down in nine minutes against Belfast (in the previous round) so we didn’t want to give them any life.
“We tried to play winning hockey tonight and keep that compete level high like we have had all season.
“You’ve got a couple of guys in that room that set the tone every night and that is pretty easy for other guys to follow and it’s huge.”
Given the deficit they faced, the Blaze were going to need to make inroads into the scoreline as early as possible at the Utilita Arena.
But their heads – and with it any faint hopes of a comeback – no doubt dropped a little lower after Steelers’ GB defenceman Sam Jones ghosted in at the far post to open the scoring for the hosts at 12.16 and make it 7-0 overall.
The Steelers doubled their lead before the first intermission when Brien Diffley fired home off a Robert Dowd set-up, the Steelers captain getting on the board himself just before the halfway mark when he created an opening for himself to beat Blaze netminder Nolan Kent at 29.34.
Former Steelers’ forward Danny Kristo pulled one back for the Blaze just over five minutes later but there was clearly no way back for Blaze from 9-1.
The hosts reached double figures across the two games when Mitchell Balmas made it 4-1 on the night with just 58 seconds second period remaining.
The Steelers must now wait to see whether it is the Guildford Flames or Glasgow Clan that they face in the final, which will take place on Wednesday, March 13 (7.30pm).
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 12 midday.