COVENTRY BLAZE recorded a four-point-weekend in dramatic style – defeating title chasers Sheffield twice within 24 hours.
The Blaze travelled to Sheffield on Saturday night where they forced the Steelers to overtime – and then penalty shots – after both sides scored two goals apiece in the first sixty minutes of play.
Both Drew Fisher and Jordan Pietrus held their nerve in a tense shootout to record the Blaze’s third straight victory against the Steelers at the time.
An even more dramatic encounter at the Skydome on Sunday night saw Chuck Weber’s side come from 1-0 down to score five consecutive goals and win 5-1.
Sheffield’s Jonathan Phillips opened the visitors account just minutes before the end of the first period, though Coventry immediately responded as Jim Jorgensen slotted home his first of the night from face-off.
Jordan Pietrus’ misfire shortly into the second period proved fortunate as Steelers goaltender Brad Day watched a bobbling puck roll into the net.
Two further markers from Jorgensen and Pietrus put the Blaze in command as Coventry scored four goals inside 13 minutes.
Sheffield were denied a way back into the game as referee Stefan Hogarth disallowed their goal – sparking Zack Fitzgerald to drop the gloves on Pietrus who was taken off the ice to clean up an open wound.
A final goal from Michael Quesnele shortly before the final buzzer ensured Chuck Weber’s side completed their most convincing weekend of hockey, since the season began, in style.
Sheffield were not helped by their own conduct as Hewitt, Fitzgerald and Legue received lengthy penalties for their actions.
After the game, Blaze head coach Chuck Weber said: “It’s pleasing to get four points from the weekend – especially considering Sheffield are one of the best teams in the league.
“Our penalty kill was fantastic this weekend and our powerplay was big tonight – the five on three powerplay goal was huge tonight and I thought it made a massive difference.
“Sheffield are a well coached team and I enjoy facing them – as a coach I embrace the challenge that the Steelers bring.
“I felt bad for Boris (Valabik) tonight – some of the penalties going against him have been harsh.
“Tonight was a tough game – it had a weird flow, the game took a long time with so many stoppages and penalties – but we held our own and did a better job this weekend.”