Two goals from Shea Guthrie put Sheffield Steelers’ Play Off dreams on hold tonight.
He scored against the run of play and then on a Power Play.
Steelers had created chances, but failed to bury them.
Confidence needed a boost, and Matt Stephenson almost gave it, but his shot was saved.
Benn Olson’s two-handed slash on Shawn Limpright had the iceSheffield crowd enraged, during this quarter final qualifier.
But Rod Sarich banged in a goal at 30;13 to make it 4-4 on aggregate.
And a right wing cross was tucked home by Tylor Michel at 32;22 to swing the game to Steelers’ favour again,
That was reward for some fluid attacking from Ryan Finnerty’s men.
And so the game moved to the last period - the whole season depended on that 20 minutes.
And Blaze got off to a flyer with Dustin Cameron scoring Coventry’s third of the night.
FIRST WEEKEND GAME REPORT FOLLOWS
SHEFFIELD Steelers take a one goal lead into today’s Play Off quarter final qualifying second-leg.
Drew Fata (07:28 1st; Power Play) and Jason Hewitt (24:36) put Sheffield seemingly in charge at Coventry Blaze.
But Adam Henrich gave Blaze hope, with a reply, making it 2-1 to Steelers at 25:35.
Sheffield may have seen their advantage reduced, but they made up for that at 45.28. when Tylor Michel netted from Steven Goertzen and Matt Stephenson.
But Blaze weren’t done.
At 53:48 danger man Shea Guthrie made it a one goal game again.
It was nip and tuck as the Midlanders piled on the pressure, although Sheffield had more shots in the game.
The result sets up the second leg at iceSheffield nicely.
Peter Hirsch 16+11+14=41
John Decaro 11+8+9=28
Full weekend wrap up in Monday’s Star.
Rapid Solicitors Play-Off Quarter Finals 1st Leg
Belfast Giants 3 Edinburgh Capitals 1
Braehead Clan 7 Cardiff Devils 5
Coventry Blaze 2 Sheffield Steelers 3
Fife Flyers 4 Nottingham Panthers 2
(Game ended at 58.52 due to broken Plexi.The 1.08 left to play, will be played before the start of the second leg today.)