VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze Highlights

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Third place Steelers moved two points closer to the leading Elite League pack after rediscovering their goal touch last night.

They maintained their pursuit of Belfast and Dundee with a convincing 5-2 win over Coventry Blaze.

Steelers defenceman Drew Fata punches Coventry's Michael Devin to the ice at Sheffield Arena

Steelers defenceman Drew Fata punches Coventry's Michael Devin to the ice at Sheffield Arena

The first win in three games sent a signal of goodwill to head coach Doug Christiansen, back home in America after a family bereavement.

Before the game, Steelers owner Tony Smith admitted his camp had been “very quiet” after last weekend’s twin defeats.

And Steelers - who dropped club mainstay Neil Abel from their bench coaching team after weekend defeats - were determined not to concede early, as has been their Achiles heel recently.

It was a feisty first period, triggered before face-off when Blaze’s niggly Kevin Harvey began apparently trying to upset Steve Geortzen, back after a foot injury.

Blaze, who beat Steelers 3-2 in overtime last weekend, were looking to inflict a third straight loss on Sheffield, under the command of assistant coach Marc Lefebvre.

Visiting skaters Sean Erickson and Brian McMillin had shots in the first shift and Gerome Giudice had a shot blocked on the line.

But Sheffield took the lead at 6:59, catching Blaze in two minds over a shift change.Linemates Rob Dowd and Rob Sirianni engineered an opening for centreman Nate Dicasmirro who executed perfectly.

Goertzen could have added with a backhander before Dicasmirro was checked from behind on the opposition blue line. Drew Fata took exception and ploughed into Michael Devin. When the dust settled the Coventry man got a five minute penalty, but Fata got longer for instigating.

On the power play, it didn’t take Blaze long to level.

Adam Henrich, who could end up being a bogey man for Sheffield this season, unleashed a venemous slapshot to beat Frank Doyle, 1-1.

Blaze are an unpredictable outfit - they lost 6-1 at home to Nottingham Panthers on October 6, but then won at the champions’ own rink last Saturday - but they deserved a share of the game. Steelers wrestled control of the middle session. On a delayed penalty, Sheffield moved the puck across Blaze’s zone before Rob Dowd shot low past Mike Zacharias.

Goertzen and Dustin Kohn could have added others, but Sheffield did add a third.

Goertzen forced a rebound off Zacharias, allowing Fata to prod the puck home at 35;01.

Steelers posted a 3-1 final period. Kohn’s shot from left point was deflected in by Dowd for 4-1 at 46:56.

Though Ryan Ginand slipped the puck between Mark Thomas and the near post to reduce the arrears, Sheffield were not going to collapse.

Jeff Legue, who described himself in the programme as “adaptable, energetic and old” despatched the puck from behind the net to top points-grabber Stefan Meyer who made the game safe at 5-2.