Steelers hit Blaze for six
Despite taking a well-earned lead into the first period break, the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze suffered defeat at the hands of the Elite League title chasing Sheffield Steelers by a score of 6-1 at the Sheffield Arena.
Blaze without defence pair David Clements and Marc Cantin, welcomed back Great Britain International Russ Cowley from injury, whilst high-scoring forward Jesse Schultz was absent for the Steelers.
Both teams created chances in the early going, Sheffield failing to convert on a 3-on-0 before Blaze took a deserved lead. Robin Bergman with an outstanding heads-up pass through traffic finding Garrett Klotz who managed to poke home for 0-1 at 15.01.
Steelers started the middle period the better having a goal wiped off for man in the crease. Just seconds later, the Yorkshire side found the equaliser. Zack Fitzgerald finding the net at the back door, assisted well by Sheffield Captain Jonathan Phillips at 22.51.
Mike Ratchuk then grabbed a lead for the home side, skating around the goal and back out in front, spinning and rifling a wide angle shot past Brian Stewart at 33.30.
Shortly after, Steelers' Colton Fretter jumped out of the box following a penalty, in space he was found by Sheffield's Man of the Match with two assists, Anders Franzon, Fretter going on to beat the Blaze goalie one-one-one for 3-1 at 34.21.
Into the third period and Sheffield registered a further quick pair of goals. Fretter with his second of the night assisted by Mathieu Roy (44.03), the two then swapping places, Fretter providing Roy for 5-1 (44.57).
Guillaume Desbiens furthered Coventry's misery at 50.56 to give a final score of 6-1.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “We had a great first period and came out with a lead but we fell off course in the second. We got caught pushing too many times and gave up too many breaks. Two quick goals to make it 3-1 put the game into their hands and we didn't skate with them like we needed to. We have to bounce back tomorrow and play for a full 60 minutes.”