How Sheffield Steelers, Sheffield Steeldogs and Leeds Knights fared across two busy nights

SHEFFIELD STEELERS stretched their winning streak to five games to maintain their hold at the top of the Elite League standings - Aaron Fox’s team impressive across two nights against Coventry Blaze.

THANKS FOR COMING: Tommaso Traversa celebrates one of his two goals in Sheffield Steelers' 5-1 win at Coventry Blaze on Sunday. Picture: Scott Wiggins/EIHL.
THANKS FOR COMING: Tommaso Traversa celebrates one of his two goals in Sheffield Steelers' 5-1 win at Coventry Blaze on Sunday. Picture: Scott Wiggins/EIHL.

Saturday night’s clash at the Utilita Arena proved the harder of the two, the deadlock not being broken until late in the second period before the Steelers ran out 3-1 winners.

Last night in Coventry, the Steelers ran out comfortable 5-1 winners, with new signing Tommaso Traversa making a difference with two goals and an assist.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It was another recent arrival in South Yorkshire - Vojtech Polak - who got the ball rolling when he opened the scoring with just 4.52 on the board.

NICE TOUCH: John Armstrong, left, tips in from Evan Mosey to make it 2-0 to Sheffield Steelers against Coventry in Saturday's 3-1 win. Picture: Dean Woolley/EIHL.

The hosts were quick to reply through a power play effort from former Steelers’ forward Luke Ferrara but thereafter, it was the visitors who were the most effective.

Traversa restored his new team’s lead at 11.37 and then doubled the advantage at 27.22, with Daine Todd piling on the misery for Danny Stewart’s team when he made it 4-1 on the power play at 32.22. Martin Latal completed a comfortable night when he added a fifth - and a second on the power play - early in the third period.

The previous evening, in front of a 6,000-plus crowd, it was Marc-Olivier Vallerand who was the star of the show, the man to eventually break the deadlock at 38.02 on the power play.

Just 63 seconds of the third period had gone before John Armstrong doubled the Steelers’ advantage, Vallerand doubling his tally when making it 3-0 at 47.49.

Marc-Olivier Vallerand celebrates his second goal against Coventry on Saturday. Picture: Dean Woolley/EIHL.

Dillon Eichstadt pulled one back for the Blaze at 57.05 but the Steelers were already home and dry on the back of another clinical performance which, coupled with the display on the road the following night, not surprisingly, left Fox a happy man.

“I thought we played a pretty complete 60 minutes there,” said Fox on Sunday’s win at the SkyDome Arena. “You take away their early penalty kill where we gave up some chances but after that 10-minute marker, I thought we played well.

“We were very good defensively again tonight, timely scoring and the boys have produced a great weekend.”

In the NIHL National, Leeds Knights took two points from the weekend, losing out 6-4 on the road to Raiders IHC after an impressive 6-3 win on home ice against Telford Tigers on Saturday.

Cole Shudra - back with the Knights for the first time since mid-October - marked his welcome return with two goals against the Tigers, with Kieran Brown, Jordan Fisher and Ben Solder also getting on the scoresheet.

Shudra and Brown were again on the scoresheet in Romford last night, along with Matty Davies and Brandon Whistle, but Raiders maintained their 100 per cent record in the league against the Knights, thanks largely to a hat-trick from Lukas Sladkovsky, the same player who scored an overtime winner in Leeds just two weeks ago.

Sheffield Steeldogs’ losing streak stretched to four games after two defeats to Basingstoke Bison.

Greg Wood’s team can take some solace from the fact they came from three goals down to earn a point in a 6-5 shoot-out defeat in Hampshire, but they will have been disappointed to lose out 4-2 on home ice to the same opponents 24 hours later.