Blaze fall to Steelers in feisty affair
Coventry Blaze fell to a 4-1 defeat to the Sheffield Steelers in a feisty affair at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday night.
Coventry fell behind early when former forward Marco Vallerand finished a Anthony DeLuca feed to make it 1-0 at 1.46.
It was 2-0 at 4.50 when the Elite League’s top goal-scorer Robert Dowd beat Jamie Phillips over the shoulder from a tight angle.
After Blaze coach Danny Stewart called a time-out, the physicality in the game increased with Ross Venus and DeLuca dropping the gloves on 17.13.
The bad blood carried on into the second period with Vallerand twice being challenged by Johnny Curran and Justin Hache. With the gloves remaining on, frustrations continued to rise and DeLuca was again involved in a number of altercations.
In amongst the feisty play, chances came and went for both sides with Justin Hamonic coming the closest hitting Tomas Duba’s crossbar.
The Blaze managed to get on the board early in the third (42.02) when former Steeler Luke Ferrara bundled home a Andrew Johnston cross-ice pass as he was taken to the ice by a Sheffield defenceman.
Coventry’s hopes of a comeback were short lived though as Czech Marek Troncinsky celebrated his extended season long contract with the Steelers by making it 3-1 at 44.28.
The game was over on 50.50 when Tanner Eberle took advantage of a Blaze defensive lapse to make it a final score of 4-1.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Credit to them, they had lost a couple on the bounce so we knew they were going to come at us. We turned over too many pucks in the early going, and we gave them momentum. I think they did a good job of keeping us to the outside, but overall we didn’t play bad, they were just better than us on the night.”