Video: Steelers on the up after Blaze triumph

IT proved to be something of an up-and-down weekend for Sheffield Steelers in the Elite league but – crucially – it ended on a high for the South Yorkshire club.

BACK OF THE NET: Cullen Eddy, far right, scores Sheffield Steelers' second goal in a 3-2 win against Coventry Blaze. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Friday night’s 2-0 win at Braehead Clan was enough to take Gerad Adams’s team top for the first time this season.

But 24 hours later they found themselves knocked off their perch by their Scottish hosts, who won the third match in seven days between the two teams 5-3 to go one point clear at the top.

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Fast forward 24 hours to last night, however, and the Steelers – with Ryan Finnerty’s Braehead enjoying a night off – were once again in the boxseat when a Mathieu Roy overtime winner gave them a 3-2 win at home to Coventry Blaze.

BACK OF THE NET: Cullen Eddy, far right, scores Sheffield Steelers' second goal in a 3-2 win against Coventry Blaze. Picture: Dean Woolley.

The result left Steelers one point clear of Braehead with two games in hand.

Before Roy’s overtime heroics, all the other goals at the Motorpoint Arena last night were scored in a see-saw opening period.

Mike Forney opened the scoring on 6.52 with Cullen Eddy’s third of the season at 14.17 being sandwiched between goals from the returning Steven Goertzen, interim coach of Coventry after Marc Lefebvre’s departure last Wednesday and the man who captained Steelers to play-off success in April.

On Saturday, the Steelers were leading 2-1 after the second period with goals from Darrel Hay and Robert Dowd sandwiching a 19th-minute powerplay strike from Braehead’s Matt Keith.

But three unanswered Braehead goals from Neil Trimm, Derek Roehl and Doncaster-born Matt Haywood sealed swift revenge for the home side after Friday’s night’s reverse, Jay Latullippe’s strike with five seconds remaining earning scant consolation for the visitors.

Hull Stingrays made their one game of the weekend worthwhile, producing the goods in front of the live TV cameras to beat finally beat Dundee Stars at home at the third attempt.

Jordan Mayer gave Stingrays the lead with a third minute powerplay strike, before Stars’ John Dolan (17.48) levelled for Stars before the end of the first period.

But, after the restart, the in-form Mayer doubled his and Hull’s tally at 21.26. That was how it stayed until just before the halfway mark when Igor Gongalsky hauled the visitors level for a second time, only for Eric Galbraith to make it 3-2 on a delayed powerplay strike at 32.33. Hull probably felt it was not to be their night against the Scottish side again when Gongalsky’s second of the night at 34.32 evened the scores yet again.

But Zach Hervato’s powerplay strike in the 48th minute did prove to be the game-winning goal, before Carl Lauzon - scoring his fourth goal in as many games - wrapped up the two points with an empty-net marker 41 seconds from time.

Hull player-coach Omar Pacha was somewhat relieved afterwards, admitting his side had not performed to the best of their ability.

“We found a way to win and got the job done,” said Pacha. “It was not our best game - of our three home games against them this season that was our worst, but we got the win which is all that mattered.

“(Goaltender) Browny (David Brown) played well which was great to see, he really stepped up - and Jamie Chilcott and Brendan Jamison had great games too.

“It was also good to see all our forwards chipping in. Cory Tanaka is our leading goalscorer and it did not quite go for him tonight but we had other guys who stepped up.”

RESULTS
Sunday: Elite League – Cardiff Devils 10 Edinburgh Capitals 0, Sheffield Steelers 3 Coventry Blaze 2 (OT), Nottingham Panthers 3 Dundee Stars 4 (OT).

Saturday: Elite League – Braehead Clan 5 Sheffield Steelers 3, Fife Flyers 3 Nottingham Panthers 5.