COVENTRY BLAZE made history at the Sheffield Arena on Sunday night by defeating league champions Sheffield Steelers to boost the club’s chances of retaining their playoff championship in Nottingham next weekend.
Following a 5-3 victory at the Skydome on Saturday night in front of a bumper crowd, the Blaze held their nerve in a tense second leg.
Chuck Weber’s men made the perfect start when Russ Cowley scored just 68 seconds into the game to put the Blaze 6-3 ahead on aggregate.
However three goals in the space of thirty minutes brought the Steelers level on aggregate, with 30 minutes of hockey still left to play.
In dramatic style, and much to the relief of the travelling Blaze fans, Drew Fisher found a way past Steelers netminder Marek Pinc with just 12 minutes remaining.
Trailing by a goal on aggregate, Sheffield coach Paul Thompson made the unquestionable decision to pull Pinc from the Steelers net – only for Cowley to add his second goal of the game with second remaining to ensure Coventry won 8-6 on aggregate.
It’s the first time in the Elite League’s history that a side which finished 8th in the regular season has defeated a title winning side.
The Blaze will now travel to Nottingham next weekend for their semi final clash on Saturday.
A win would mean Blaze would reach their second grand final on the bounce – which will take place on Sunday.