Sheffield Steelers 7 Coventry Blaze 2 - Steelers hit Elite Series top spot after snuffing out rivals

TANNER EBERLE struck a hat-trick as Sheffield Steelers stormed to the top of the Elite Series standings with a 7-2 demolition of Coventry Blaze.

Liam Kirk helps Tanner Eberle celebrate his hat-trick strike for the Steelers against Coventry. Picture courtesy of Karl Denham/EIHL.

It was the perfect response by Aaron Fox’s team to Sunday’s last-minute defeat to Manchester Storm, who saw their unbeaten record ended on Tuesday night by Nottingham Panthers.

Eberle got the scoring underway for the Steelers in the behind-closed-doors event at the National Ice Centre with just 5.52 on the clock, Robert Dowd doubling the advantage just over six minutes later.

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Tristan Keck halved the deficit just before the first period break, only for Steelers’ Norwegian winger Sondre Olden to restore the two-goal cushion just over two minutes after the restart.

Steelers' Tanner Eberle celebrates one of his three goals against Coventry. Picture: Karl Denham/EIHL.

Coventry came back again through a Nick Jermain effort just before the halfway point but once Liam Kirk bagged his fourth goal of the competition to make it 4-2 at 33.09, there was only one ever going to be one winner.

Eberle’s second of the night turned the screw further at 42.41 and, as Danny Stewart’s team scrambled for a way back into the game, Jason Hewitt made it 6-2 at 54.58.

Eberle then made it a night to remember as he completed his hat-trick just 43 seconds later off a feed from Kirk.

Afterwards, Hewitt, back with the Steelers for the Elite Series, after five years away, said the Steelers were dominant winners.

Liam Kirk scored his fourth goal of the competition in the 7-2 win over Coventry. Picture: Karl Denham/EIHL.

“It was good to get the win, obviously, but overall the big thing for us was having a big team performance after losing out on Sunday,” said Hewitt.

“I think we dominated all three periods and thoroughly deserved it.”

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