After 10 straight days of action, this meeting between Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers signals a day’s break before the decisive weekend to decide just who will play each other in the play-offs.
Previous fixtures between these two have yielded high scoring affairs, with Steelers coming out on top on each occasion. Will this one be any different?
07 Apr 21: Steelers 7 Blaze 2
13 Apr 21: Blaze 4 Steelers 6
20 Apr 21: Steelers 5 Blaze 3
- Pete Russell reveals who’s on the GB plane for Latvia and the World Championships (British Ice Hockey)
- Brendan Connolly is hitting his stride in the Elite Series (Yorkshire Post)
- The new BIH Show arrived, featuring Sheffield Steelers’ Jason Hewitt and Coventry’s Tristan Keck (British Ice Hockey)
- There were plenty of big numbers being thrown around before this game…mainly by us (British Ice Hockey)
- Nottingham Panthers Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet spoke his behind the bench for the club earlier in the competition (British Ice Hockey)
📊 WHO WILL WIN? 📊
— British Ice Hockey 🏒 (@BritIceHockey) April 22, 2021
It got that close for Danny Stewart’s side, but once more, they ended up on the losing side again to a Steelers side who did enough over the piece to clinch two more Elite Series points.
The first period was a relatively tight affair, typified by only one goal to separate the two sides when Brendan Connolly opened the scoring with a shot in at Hedley’s short side, over his shoulder.
Tanner Eberle took the puck around the Blaze net and finished off a wraparound a couple of minutes after the restart to claim Steelers’ second
Blaze hit back as Mike Hammond struck with a well hit effort, after being set up by Nick Jermain, but Steelers restored their two-goal advantage as Jeremy Beaudry stroked home from close range.
Josh Waller added a fourth, taking a right sided pass by Jonathan Phillips and delivering an excellent finish to leave Hedley beaten again.
Eberle got his second with three to go in the second, smashing in a one-timer as Coventry’s defence struggled in the face of more pressure as Steelers took advantage of a powerplay.
Liam Kirk added to Blaze’s misery with Sheffield’s sixth goal three minutes into the final period and it seemed like the game was beyond Danny Stewart’s men.
They weren’t going down without a fight, scoring three goals in just over three minutes to reduce the gap from five to two as Mac Howlett, Tristan Keck and Sam Duggan all netted.
Hammond struck a second on the powerplay with two minutes to go to set up a dramatic finale, but Connolly killed them off with an empty net goal to endure the points for Steelers with 28 seconds to go.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Blaze 21 Steelers 39
Blaze – Mike Hammond (26:10 – Jermain); Mac Howlett (45:31 – Antonoc); Tristan Keck (46:58 – Hammond); Sam Duggan (48:51 – Clements, Jermain PP); Mike Hammond (58:33 – Bryhnisveen PP)
Steelers – Brendan Connolly (14:16 – Olden); Tanner Eberle (21:56 – Mikyska); Jeremy Beaudry (27:34 – Saxrud-Danielsen; Pakodsi); Josh Waller (28:40 – J Phillips, Hewitt); Tanner Eberle (36:33 – Mikyska PP); Liam Kirk (42:55 – Eberle); Brendan Connolly (59:32 – unassisted EN)