Sheffield Steelers 6 Coventry Blaze 4 - Steelers fight back to move four points clear at the top

Steelers went four points clear at the top of the EIHL after a topsy turvy 6-4 win over Coventry Blaze.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 9:51 pm
Tanner Eberle gets stuck in against Coventry Pic Dean Woolley

Sheffield had to come back from 2-0 down and had goals disallowed from Josef Mikyska and Brendan Connolly

But it was only when Connolly scored an empty netter in the final second, that the two points were assured.

Steelers had looked out of touch in an error-strewn first period which they yielded 0-2.

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Sheffield Steelers' Brendan Connolly under the cosh. Pic Dean Woolley

Individuals you'd normally expect to be assured and focused made mistakes while as a unit Sheffield wasted chances and laid themselves open to odd-man attacks.

Matt Myers and Alex Graham squandered shooting chances, Josh Waller, Sonder Olden and Mikyska were stripped of the puck in surprising circumstances, even Kevin Schulze and Jérémy Beaudry gave it away cheaply.

Ben Churchfield conceded the first goal when Mike Hammond's shot bounced back off the board and Coventry's chief threat Tristan Keck did the rest.

Then when Jonathan Phillips was penalised for hooking in the offensive zone, ex Steeler Luke Ferrara - back on the Blaze roster after playing in Krakow, Poland - buried the puck from the left circle.

Sheffield Steelers' Liam Kirk congratulated after scoring against Coventry Blaze. Pic Dean Woolley

Before the game, d-man Nicolai Bryhnisveen had admitted he'd been "embarrassed" by the 7-2 loss against Steelers last week, and that his side would be "fired up."

He'd been proven right.

And Steelers hadn't looked like a team that scored 21 goals in their last three outings.

The Aaron Fox first-interval pep talk seemingly delivered a different attitude.

Their almost-complete dominance - and that hugely usefully tactic of tipping shots from close range paid dividends.

With Max Krogdahl called for tripping, Tanner Eberle tipped in a Liam Kirk wrist shot 65 seconds in.

Waller cycled the puck, Davey Phillips shot goalwards and Jonathan Phillips deflected the equaliser in at 36;08.

And 35 seconds later it was 3-2 for Sheffield, Sam Jones getting the decisive touch.

Weirdly, although Blaze had conceded three straight, they'd defended resolutely and bravely for most of the middle frame - which tells you something about the balance of play.

They issued a warning they weren't out of it, too.

Churchfield had to make a spectacular triple save to retain Steelers' advantage and Coventry's David Clements hit the post on 39 minutes.

And Blaze were level again when a shot from Hammond flew across Churchfield high into the net at 42:18.

They were 4-3 down when Olden embarrassed their defence, firing a wrist shot past two d-men and in off goalie Shane Owen's ribs.

Fox could breath easier on the bench when his third line put them 5-3 up, Jason Hewitt prodding over the line. But not for long, Keck getting his second of the night at 56:32.Connolly ended the game with his first of the mini season.

Steelers are back in action on Friday (Nottingham Panthers 7pm)