Back from the dead: Coventry Blaze 3-4 Sheffield Steelers (overtime: final score)

Matt Marquardt scored two late goals against his old club to seal a memorable come-from-behind victory for Sheffield Steelers at Coventry Blaze.

Sunday, 18th February 2018, 7:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th February 2018, 7:25 pm
Steelers try to repel an attack at Coventry on Sunday. Picture courtesy of Scott Wiggins

Steelers had been 3-0 down at the half way point.

But Sheffield dragged themselves back into it and the power winger scored in the 52nd minute and then in overtime to gain the points.

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Coventry were operating on high emotion after a shirt-retirement ceremony in honour of club legend Russell Cowley.

With the crowd behind them, they killed an early Alex Barron holding penalty and then grabbed the initiative, Marc-Olivier Vallerand skating in ahead of Davey Phillips on the right wing, switching across the crease and beating Ervins Mustukov, unassisted, at 4:58.

Blaze, 3-1 winners at Play Off spot rivals Braehead Clan, the night before then doubled their lead.

A cheeky pass from Ross Venus saw possession fall to Gaelan Patterson who, seemingly in slow motion, picked his moment to fire around Scott Aarssen and home at 11:05.

Eric Neiley making friends in Saturday's match against Guildford Flames. Pic: Dean Woolley

Steelers, who had again left Zack Fitzgerald out of the line-up because of they had reached the import quota level, went on the Power Play when Dax Lauwers was called for cross checking.

Mathieu Roy hit the pipework- a cameo moment apparently repeated at the other end by Coventry; although some home fans felt the puck had gone in the net.

Steelers killed a Mark Matheson four minute high sticking penalty and went looking for goals, with Eric Neiley and Colton Fretter trying to outsmart Kevin Nastiuk in the home goal.

But a 5-on-3 power play saw Blaze to go 3-2, Canadian winger Vallerand chalking up his second.

Eric Neiley making friends in Saturday's match against Guildford Flames. Pic: Dean Woolley

Steelers didn’t sulk, they hit back five minutes later when Neiley scored his second of the weekend, from Jonas Westerling and Andreas Valdix.

The fight-back continued on the Power Play when Ben O’Connor bashed a trademark goal home from the blue line.

Steelers came out hungry after the second break, with Valdix shooting wide and then Levi Nelson forcing a glove save from Nastiuk.

Matheson then fired through a forest of players only to see Nastiuk deny him.

But eventually the pressure told and Colton Fretter’s ingenuity teed up Marquardt at 52:29, for 3-3.

Defenceman Miika Nastiuk Franssila joined the hunt for the winner with an effort with four minutes remaining.

But it was Marquardt sealed maximum points in overtime.