PAUL THOMPSON declared himself satisfied with a ‘workmanlike’ performance from his Sheffield Steelers team after they thumped Coventry Blaze.
“It wasn’t our best performance by far,” said head coach Thompson. “But we did what we needed to do and we got back to winning ways which, after the loss at the weekend in Cardiff, was what we needed.”
During a forgettable first period, it was struggling Blaze who took the lead, Garrett Klotz striking at 15.01 from close range to the dismay of Ervins Mustukovs.
Click on the video link at the top of the page to watch Paul Thompson’s post-match reaction
Steelers responded soon after the restart through defenceman-turned-forward Zack Fitzgerald, before they took control of the game with two goals in less than aminute, Mike Ratchuck scoring at 33,30 before Colton Fretter added a third 51 seconds later.
Just over four minutes into the third period, Fretter grabbed his second of the night before another quickly followed less than am minute later from Mathieu Roy.
Guillaume Desbiens rounded off the scoring at 50.56 when his shot deflected past Brian Stewart, to complete a resounding win for Sheffield.
The result sees Steelers close the gap on leaders Cardiff to 10 points with four games in hand, while they remain in third place, two points adrift of Belfast Giants.
“In the first period we were a bit sluggish and that really isn’t the way we play,” added Thompson.
“We went behind after missing a few clear chances but once we got the goal to tie the game, I felt we were the only team who were going to go on and win it.
“It wasn’t our best, but I’d take that result every day of the week obviously. It will be harder in their rink, a smaller rink where things happen a little bit quicker and you have to engage that little bit quicker, but it was good to get this one out of the way.”
The South Yorkshire club have a chance to spend Christmas in second place, however, if they win at Coventry on Thursday night.
More than 9,000 tickets have already been sold for the eagerly-anticipated clash with arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers. Just over 100 tickets are available.
It wasn’t our best performance by far, but we did what we needed to do and we got back to winning ways which was important.Paul Thompson, Sheffield Steelers’ head coach