Steelers in seventh heaven against Blaze
A hat-trick from Tanner Eberle helped the Sheffield Steelers defeat the Coventry Blaze 7-2 in their third game of the 2021 Elite Series.
With Luke Ferrara having arrived back in the country too late to be considered for the game, the Blaze iced an unchanged line-up for the third game in a row. The Steelers were again without import netminder John Muse and started young Brit Ben Churchfield in goal.
The Steelers got off to a fast start, enjoying the majority of the early offensive pressure, and took the lead when Eberle fired a shot over Blaze netminder Shane Owen's shoulder and into the roof of the net at 5.22. With the Blaze still struggling to get time in the offensive zone, Owen denied Brendan Connolly when he was clean through on goal before Sheffield increased their lead through Robert Dowd, who fired home a loose puck from close range at 11.55.
With time ticking down at the end of the period, the Blaze pulled a goal back when Tristan Keck broke away and exchanged passes with Mike Hammond before firing the puck home at 19.21.
The Steelers extended their lead early in the second period when Sondre Olden tapped the puck home at the back door after it eluded Owen at 21.04.
The Blaze pulled back within one goal when Hammond found Nick Jermain whose shot from a tight angle found its way into the net off Churchfield at 28.21 to give him his first professional goal.
Churchfield then denied Ivan Antonov from close range before the Steelers offensive pressure saw them score again through Liam Kirk after good work behind the net from Olden at 33.09.
The third period saw Sheffield score a fifth through Eberle at 42.41, after Owen had denied Josef Mikyska, before the Blaze went on a five-on-three powerplay but could not find a way past the impressive Churchfield.
Two goals in under a minute from Jason Hewitt (54.58) and a third for Eberle (55.41) saw Jordan Hedley replace Owen in the Blaze goal as the Steelers completed a comprehensive win.
The Blaze will look to rebound against the Manchester Storm on Friday at 7pm.
All of the action will be streamed live online via: eliteleague.tv