January 2, 2012

Sheffield Steelers Hit Coventry Blaze For 6.

More GB hockey action for our readers !!

The only Elite League game to be played on New Years Day saw the Sheffield Steelers regain 4th spot in the Elite League with a fine 6-3 win over the Coventry Blaze.

Coventry started the opening 2 minutes looking menacing but a defensive lapse saw Colt King give Sheffield the lead at 2.33. He fired the puck high over the net but it took a funny bounce to come straight back infront of the net and with the Blaze defence asleep King stole in to fire the puck past Hirsch.

The Blaze levelled at 8.34 as Barry Jurynec was the beneficiary from a Matt Stephenson mistake as the puck found him open infront of the net and he fired past John De Caro. Stephenson was less than impressed with himself, smashing his stick on the crossbar as he realised he should have controlled and cleared the puck.
Sheffield were to take a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period though as ex Blaze star Luke Fulgham got on the score sheet with a clinical finish at 17.46.

2 quick goals at the start of the 2nd period saw Sheffield take a commanding 4-1 lead as Fulgham scored his 2nd of the game at 21.48 and Jeff Legue fired  a one timer in off the bar as Colt King fed him the perfect pass on a 2-1 breakaway.

It then turned into the Peter Hirsch show as the Blaze netminder started to stand on his head to keep the score down. He pulled off some jaw dropping saves from Legue, King and Finnerty – the latter the most upset as he slammed his stick into the plexi after being denied on his chance.

The Blaze did pull a goal back in the midst of all these Steelers chances as Owen Fussey scored a powerplay goal at 5.53.

Hirsch was still on top form at the start of the 3rd period as he again denied Finnerty a certain goal but he was finally beaten for a 5th time as Matt Stephenson atoned for his earlier error and managed to force the puck in behind the Blaze netminder.

Coventry weren’t finished yet though and brought the game back to within 2 as Greg Owen scored at 9.32 of the third, firing the puck in off De Caro’s skates from just behind the goal line.

However, Mike Ramsay finished off the scoring at 11.45 of the period as he was put clean in on Hirsch and this time the netminder couldn’t pull off the big save as Ramsay deked round him and fired it into the net.
A superb game from both teams but Sheffield proved they are a force on home ice and got back to winning ways after 2 disappointing games over Christmas.

My man of the match awards go to Peter Hirsch in the Blaze goal who certainly stopped the Steelers scoring 10 in this game. There were at least 5 / 6 one on ones where he pulled of miraculous stops and he kept his team in the game in the 2nd period.

For Sheffield, Colt King really impressed me. Having a reputation as more of an enforcer type of player he is certainly a lot more than that. A great power forward display and his passing was excellent throughout the game. 1 + 1 on the board and was one of the ones that Hirsch stoned otherwise would have scored more.

- Adam Yates

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