Sheffield Steelers’ Chris Lawrence with points to prove against former club Coventry Blaze

Sheffield Steelers' Chris Lawrence will face former club Coventry Blaze on Friday night.

Sheffield Steelers' Chris Lawrence will face former club Coventry Blaze on Friday night.

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By his own admission, it is fair to say that Chris Lawrence’s time at Coventry Blaze didn’t go too well.

Tonight, at Sheffield Arena, he gets his first opportunity to prove to Coventry coach Chuck Weber that he was wrong to jettison him from the Skydome Arena after just a handful of games.

Chris Lawrence, in action for Coventry Blaze earlier this year.

Chris Lawrence, in action for Coventry Blaze earlier this year.

After enjoying his first taste of life in the Elite League last season with Nottingham Panthers – where he posted 63 points, including 25 goals, in 61 games, Lawrence was quickly snapped up by the 2014-15 Play-off Champions.

But, nine games in and having just started a Masters degree as part of the deal that took him to the club, Lawrence was informed by Weber that he was being released, the 28-year-old Canadian having posted just one assist.

Coventry’s loss was Steelers’ gain, Lawrence having an immediate impact by scoring five goals in his first three games – including a game-winner against Nottingham at the National Ice Centre.

After 15 games, Lawrence is still averaging almost a point a game under Paul Thompson, with his initial short-term deal being extended.

“I guess it is fair to say it didn’t work out for me in Coventry,” said Lawrence.

“But that’s the way it goes in hockey sometimes. I liked the guys there and it was a very talented roster. But it was pretty frustrating when they told me they were letting me go.

“It’s obvious that my game has picked up since I came to Sheffield and I’m enjoying being here.

“As a player, when you are released by a club you always want to make sure you have a good game against them if you get chance to play them later down the line - just to show them that they were wrong to let you go.

“This is no different.”

The Steelers, who visit Nottingham on Sunday night, are looking to bounce back after suffering two defeats last weekend and, based on previous meetings between the two teams this season, will fancy their chances.

There is also the small matter of Coventry spoiling a hoped-for double for the Steelers at the NIC in April in the post-season finale as an added incentive for Paul Thompson’s players, although they have already gone some way to exacting revenge with two victories – and two shut-outs – against Coventry in the Challenge Cup group phase.

Coventry sit bottom of the overall EIHL standings after a 5-3 defeat at home to newcomers Manchester Storm last Sunday.

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