ICE HOCKEY - Blaze suffer first Elite League defeat against Steelers - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Blaze suffer first Elite League defeat against Steelers

Coventry Editorial 4th Oct, 2022   0

COVENTRY Blaze’s perfect start to the Elite League season came to an end after Danny Stewart’s side were beaten 3-2 by Sheffield Steelers.

Marly Quince and Colton Yellow Horn twice restored parity for Blaze only for Coventry to concede late on despite having an extra player at the Skydome Arena.

The result means Blaze drop to fourth in the Elite League standings.

Blaze were without number one netminder Paavo Holsa and Canadian defenceman Tanner Lishchynsky with Brit Jordan Hedley making his second consecutive start between the pipes.

Steelers scored the game’s first goal at 25.53 courtesy of defenceman Sam Jones who fired the puck past Hedley to make it 1-0.

However, Coventry hit back quickly as Quince scored his fourth goal in five regular season games at 30.24.

Sheffield’s second goal came at 42.03 when Robert Dowd beat Great Britain teammate Hedley to record his first goal of the Elite League regular season.

And Blaze levelled for a second time at 44.38 as Yellow Horn moved up to joint-second in the league with nine points (four goals, five assists) in five games.

Shortly after, Steelers player Matthew Petgrave was thrown out of the game for abuse of the officials at 47.50.

However, Steelers clinched the game at 55.00 when Kevin Schulze found space and produced a neat finish past Hedley.

Blaze had a late five-on-three opportunity to equalise but were unable to tie up the game for a third time.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “I thought it was an exciting game for the fans. When it comes down to it, we needed to find a way to score on that five-on-three.

“We played well enough to win and what I liked what was the fight back after last night’s performance.

“We asked the guys to respond as we didn’t think last night’s performance was very good at all and they did and that’s important.”

That came after another 3-2 defeat in the Challenge Cup to Cardiff Devils at Ice Arena Wales just one day earlier.

Great Britain international Hedley started in place of Holsa and performed excellently – stopping 37 of Cardiff’s 40 shots – to earn Blaze’s Man of the Match award.

Coventry took the lead through Quince at 18.35 as he cleverly tipped home Jack Billings’ shot before Jake Coughler hit back for Cardiff with 33 seconds of the first period left to play.

Devils took the lead early in the second period with Cole Sandford converting on the powerplay at 21.43.

Blaze equalised when David Clements beat GB teammate Ben Bowns at 39.06 only for Trever Cox to score the game-winning goal at 43.40 from a tight angle.

Hedley was pulled for the extra skater in the final minute as Blaze manufactured and spurned a couple of golden opportunities.

Blaze are next in action away at Glasgow Clan on Saturday, October 8 with the face-off at 7pm at Braehead Arena Glasgow

The following day, Coventry host Manchester Storm with the face-off at 5.30pm against Manchester Storm.

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