Sheffield Steelers 5-3 Coventry Blaze - Another win as table-topping Steelers march on
With 17 league games left, the Sheffield Steelers may well be limping their way to the League title.
Over the weekend, the invaluable Daine Todd and Matias Sointu joined Marco Vallerand in the sickbay.There may well be others with issues too, including Keeton Ellerby.Yet on Sunday, they clawed from 0-2 down to win 5-3, a real character victory.Coventry, who had thrown away a two-goal lead to lose to Belfast Giants on Saturday, did the reverse at Sheffield Arena, taking charge of the first period from the first shift.Davey Phillips's foot stopped the puck from crossing Steelers' goal line after 15 seconds while Dane Gibson and Ross Venus menaced around the home net.Sheffield were vulnerable in the centre of their own zone. And it was on one of the occasions when they were individually outbattled that Blaze went ahead through Evan Bloodoff (8:55.)Coventry kept coming and Luke Ferrara had a lively shot charged down at 10:45.Sheffield were their own worst enemies at 14:00, Evan Mosey had been called for clipping but Ellerby roughed up Janne Laakkonen and also went to the penalty box.On the five-on-three, John Curran rifled past Barry Brust, who had kept his place between the pipes after Saturday's win in Nottingham.The visitors lost their grip on the game when Martin Latal zipped through the middle and backhanded above C J Motte's reach.With Nathanael Halbert retaliating for high contact from Latal, Sheffield went on the power play but Coventry again showed how good they are at closing down space.Latal unpicked them again though.It was his shot that rebounded for advancing defenceman Sam Jones to slot home the 2-2 equaliser at 34:20.But the period ended in disaster for Todd, who was unable to put any weight on his left foot and was packed off to accident and emergency.Sheffield had a strong finish though.After killing a penalty, they went ahead for the first time, Justin Hodgman coming from behind the net to roof the puck at 43:48.Then Jones threw the puck on the net and Brandon Whistle was accredited with the touch that made it 4-2.Another d-man Kevin Schulze then joined the rush to plant the puck firmly past Motte and assure the two points.Blaze scored a late consolation from Sam Russell.Attendance: 6,642*Saturday's last period mauling of Nottingham Panthers (4-0) handed Sheffield a bumper 7-3 win at their rival's rink.Vojtech Polák's second strike of the night at 47:26, proved to be the game winner, with the other scores coming from Justin Hodgman, Martin Látal, Robert Dowd, Tanner Eberle and an empty-netter from John Armstrong.Coach Aaron Fox said the team's true character had returned after a series of bad results.*Sheffield start their March programme with a Scottish twist. On Wednesday, they travel to Fife Flyers. That's followed by home and away games against Dundee Stars.
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