Kopriva blanks Steelers with world class save
Czech netminder Miroslav Korpiva produced a stunning save with minutes to go to blank the Sheffield Steelers and help the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to an impressive 0-2 victory at the Sheffield Arena.
Despite both sides having chances, it was a scoreless first period as Kopriva and Matt Climie at the other end each stopped 12 shots through 20 minutes.
Coventry began the second well, piling pressure on the Sheffield net. They were finally rewarded on 28.31 as American defenceman Chris Joyaux bagged his third of the year with assists to Shawn Pauly and Kevin Morris.
Further opportunities came and went and with Blaze out-shooting their opponents 15-7 in the middle twenty, the credit went to Steelers’ Man of the Match Climie for keeping the home side alive.
On their air the bear night, Sheffield thought the long wait to throw their soft toys onto the ice had come with just over three minutes remaining when Jonas Westerling celebrated what looked a certain equaliser. As hundreds of bears were thrown onto the ice from the stands, it suddenly dawned on the Steelers’ crowd that the effort had been spectacularly denied by Coventry Man of the Match Kopriva, who somehow managed to stop the puck with his stuck on the line.
It was an incredible moment, and as Sheffield pulled Climie for the extra skater, it was left to Swedish forward Thom Flodvist on his debut to score into the empty net to seal a well-deserved 0-2 victory for Danny Stewart’s men.