Coventry Blaze coach Danny Stewart banned after outbursts in Sheffield Steelers clash

Firebrand coach Danny Stewart has been suspended for one game and fined following abusive incidents at Sheffield Arena, last Sunday.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 9:51 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 9:52 am

The EIHL's disciplinary committee doled out the punishment after its own investigation, sparked initially by The Star's account of Stewart's aggressive clash with Steelers' assistant coach Carter Beston-Will in the players' tunnel.

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Our story was followed up by the release of a video of Stewart taunting Justin Hodgman with a gesture regarding mental health.

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The League clearly felt their reputation may be at stake if they were not seen to show their disquiet over Stewart's two foul-mouthed rants, both of which were witnessed by fans.

Their statement did not refer to any diversity training for Coventry, which would have been an option.

The League's decision follows last night's hockey games where Steelers were beaten 5-3 at Fife Flyers, but Coventry outplayed Nottingham Panthers 5-0.

At Fife Ice Arena, Sheffield conceded three power play goals in 11 minutes and were outshot, particularly in the early stages

Danny Stewart, suspended.

Steelers, who have HC Innsbruck loan players Nico Feldner and Antonin Boruta joining the squad in time for Saturday's game against Dundee Stars, were without long-term injured Vallerand and Todd, along with Polak and Latal. They'd drafted in Cole Shudra on defence, but the patched-up lined up were never at the races.

After the Ukrainian national anthem was played in honour of the invaded nation, Robert Dowd gave Sheffield the lead roofing the puck on the power play at 6:26 after Kyle Thacker was penalised for tripping Tanner Eberle.

Thacker made amends by equalising six minutes later, the puck ricocheting off Barry Brust's shoulder pad.

Steelers killed a five-on-three penalty but Brust conceded, even-handed, from Brandon Magee's wrist shot to give Flyers a 2-1 lead in which they'd had 16 shots to Steelers' six.

Robert Dowd, scored at Fife. Pic Hayley Roberts

Aaron Fox's side needed to find their mojo.

Matias Sointu couldn't beat Shane Owen on a two-one-one and Fife looked increasingly likely to score again, with ex Sheffield forward Chris Lawrence dictating events and Carson Stadnyk and Jacob Benson testing Brust.

Even the goal judge flashed his light on when Greg Chase seemed certain to score but Brust's pad stopped the shot.

John Armstrong hasn't scored too many goal this season but his equaliser from an Evan Mosey cross boosted expectations.

Dowd whipped home his second of the night on the first shift of period three to give Sheffield the lead for the first time.

With David Phillips in the penalty box, though, 6ft 4ins Swedish defenceman Jonas Emmerdahl scored with a slapshot eight seconds into the power play.

Phillips took another penalty, and Benson scored. Keeton Ellerby went for tripping and Benson got his second.

All three PP efforts in 11 minutes.

Fox called a time out at 57.35 and sat Brust, but there was no miracle to witness for the hardy travelling fans.

In the period Sheffield normally come strong, Fife had been the more assertive.

Later, Fife Assistant Coach Jeff Hutchins said his team had been confident and had trained well for the match.

As for Steelers, they can now be caught at the top by Belfast Giants, should the Northern Irish win on Friday.