Sheffield Steelers have lost Jeff Legue for the rest of the season after the player broke his jaw last night.
He was hit in the face by a slapshot from team-mate Chris Blight and is to undergo surgery.
It was a terrible blow for the club, who seized the advantage in a closely-fought Play Off quarter final battle in the Midlands.
The had gone behind at Coventry Blaze to a Russell Cowley goal on nine minutes.
Jason Hewitt levelled at 19;22.
And Max Lacroix gave the visitors the lead in the second session.
Gerome Giudice brought Blaze back into it on the half hour mark.
Yet the see-saw nature of the game at the Skydome continued, with skipper and man of the match Steve Goertzen making 3-2 to Sheffield.
And they found themselves up against it as the home side looked for a way back.
But a disciplined defence saw them hang on.
The second leg of this quarter final is on Tuesday.
Mike Zacharias 25+8+13=46
Frank Doyle 9+10+10=29
Saturday 29th March 2014
Quarter Finals 1st leg
Coventry Blaze 2-3 Sheffield Steelers
Hull Stingrays 1-4 Belfast Giants
Fife Flyers 4-3 Dundee Stars
Quarter Finals 2nd leg
Braehead Clan 5-1 Nottingham Panthers
Braehead win 9-1 on agg