COVENTRY, UK – A fantastic fightback from Genting Casino Coventry Blaze proved in vain as they were beaten 6-4 by Sheffield Steelers at the Skydome in the Rapid Solicitors Elite League Erhardt Conference.
Maxime Lacroix (6.19) handed Steelers an early lead which they doubled 49 seconds later through Rob Sirianni and Jason Hewitt stretched their advantage at 13.10 which prompted a Blaze time-out.
A five-on-three powerplay goal from Drew Fata (16.57) and another powerplay strike 62 seconds later from Lacroix ensured a 5-0 first-period for Steelers.
They made it six just 19 seconds into the middle session before Kevin Harvey, in his final game for the club, got Blaze on the board at 21.24 with his 15th goal of the season.
Two goals inside 100 seconds from Adam Henrich (32.39 powerplay) and Ryan Ginand (34.19) halved Blaze’s deficit and a short-handed marker from captain Ashley Tait against his former club at 48.58 set up a tense finish. But despite pulling goaltender Mike Zacharias, the home side were unable to complete the comeback.
Coach Matt Soderstrom said: “We actually started the better team and were all over them in the first five minutes or so but the next 14 minutes was the worst I have seen.
“We went in and I changed things around to try and get us going and then in the first shift it was 6-0. Then we started playing how I know we can and fought our way back.
“We actually should have tied it up. Adam missed a breakaway which he would normally score and then Ginand missed a good opportunity. We tried but we just left ourselves too much to do.
“You can’t go down 6-0 against a team like Sheffield. Being five goals down after the first period should never happen. We are such a Jekyll and Hyde team, it’s so frustrating.”