Jeff Legue - one of the best players in Sheffield Steelers’ history - was dropped tonight by his coach Doug Christiansen.
The mercurial centreman paid the price for some below par performances and sits out the Arena game against Coventry Blaze.
Also missing from the Sheffield line-up are injured duo Mark Thomas (back) and Rob Dowd (eye.)
Legue, the club’s leading scorer, will now have to fight for his place to play against Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday in the Challenge cup semi final first leg.
Coventry took the lead short-handed at 12;15 through Shea Guthrie and hit the pipework twice, but Steelers deserved to level, through Stefan Meyer, at 14;53.
Sheffield switched on offensively in the middle section, Meyer securing his hat-trick by the half-way point, thanks to assists from Chad Langlais and Steve Goertzen.
Danny Meyers did a cracking job fighting Gerome Giudice, who left the ice with a bleeding hand.
Meyer got his fourth in the last session, after a Max Lacroix slapshot goal.
Final score: Steelers win 5-1.
Full weekend report in tomorrow’s Star.
LAST NIGHT’S REPORT
Sheffield Steelers hoped to put down a marker last night in their League battle with Nottingham Panthers - but ended up on the wrong side of a 5-2 scoreline.
They conceded a game that they were at one stage 5-0 down in - and dropped from second to third in the table, Braehead Clan taking their spot.
While the chase for the Elite League title is now a thing of the past, with Belfast Giants dominating the main competition, Sheffield’s pursuit of the other honours will be partly determined by their remaining games with Notts.
On Wednesday, Steelers host Panthers for the Challenge cup first leg semi final.
The winner plays Giants in the final.
So last night, in Nottingham, Doug Christiansen’s side wanted to continue their recent run of good results against their closest foes.
But penalty trouble got them in early difficulties.
Jonathan Weaver and Leigh Salters both scored on the home power play in the first 15 minutes.
It looked game over when Petr Kalus and Robert Lachowicz, made it 4-0 for Panthers.
While man of the match Jonathan Phillips hit a post, Steelers’ offensive play produced little.
And Steelers, who can get regularly caught cold after an interval in play, conceded again.
At 40;40 Lachowicz grabbed his second of what was now a tortuous evening for Sheffield.
Panthers’ hopes of a shut out ended when d-man Dustin Kohn dragged one back with 10 minutes left.
In the final minute, some slight element of respectability to the scoreline came when Jason Hewitt got Sheffield’s second.
Saturday 8th February 2014
Belfast Giants 6 Fife Flyers 4
Braehead Clan 3 Coventry Blaze 1
Cardiff Devils 3 Dundee Stars 1.
Sunday 9th February 2014
Edinburgh Capitals v Braehead Clan – 6.00pm
Fife Flyers v Dundee Stars – 6.30pm
Hull Stingrays v Nottingham Panthers – 6.00pm
Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze – 5.00pm