Video: Sheffield Steelers 2-1 Coventry Blaze, plus results, fixtures

Luke Ferrara had a painful return to Sheffield Steelers tonight as his new side slipped to a narrow defeat.

The Coventry Blaze winger fired two shots at former team-mate Ervins Mustukovs and was then cross-checked from the back head-first into the net.

He emerged unscathed but there were other injuries to Steeler players that are now concerning coach Paul Thompson.
The cross check on Ferrara was one of relatively few memorable events in a goal-less first period at Sheffield Arena.

The crowd got involved with every shift of the Steeler young guns with Liam Kirk and Kieran Brown continuing to impress - while Cole Shudra showed his steely resolve with the illegal challenge on Ferrara.
John Armstrong and Robert Dowd were the likely avenues for a goal, but not enough Steeler forwards got close enough to trouble Kevin Nastiuk in the Blaze net.

Steelers had split last weekend's games against Elite League opposition, beating Manchester Storm 5-4 and then being outgunned 2-4 in Altrincham. A defenceman, Ben O'Connor, scored both goals in the north west, so the forwards wanted to be sharper tonight against Blaze, who finished next to bottom of the League last season.

But it wasn't to be in the opening 40 minutes.

Steelers action tonight: Pix by Hayley Roberts

Steelers action tonight: Pix by Hayley Roberts

Zack Fitzgerald had the Arena crowd out of their seats with a cracking fight with Danick Paquette - the Coventry man getting in the odd blow, but he ran out of steam as the scrap progressed and an official wisely stepped in with him looking decidedly vulnerable.

Davey Phillips and Ross Venus also fought in a session Steelers dominated.

Colton Fretter came closest to breaking the deadlock, he hit the underside of the bar.

As for Ferrara, he suffered a puck-to-the-foot injury, but carried on gamely.

Steelers v Coventry, tonight

Steelers v Coventry, tonight

The third period saw both goalies beaten, at last.

Blaze's Gaelan Patterson left the play after being hit in the face by a puck and in the second or two it took his side to get another man on, Levi Nelson opened the scoring at 47;14, backhanding in from close range.

Some intelligent passing created space for Tim Wallace to rifle in from the right circle at 50;44.

The visitors scored a short-handed goal via Brett Robinson, but the friendly went the way of the home team.

Afterwards, coach Paul Thompson said he was annoyed at two challenges on Fretter, saying the officials have to clamp down on dangerous play.

Mathieu Roy has picked up an injury and he and Fitzgerald won't play tomorrow in the reverse fixture, at the Skydome.

RESULTS

Saturday 2nd September

Challenge Cup Group A

Braehead Clan 7 Manchester Storm 5

Challenge Cup Group B

Dundee Stars 3 Belfast Giants 2 (After Penalty Shootout)

Exhibition Games

Fife Flyers 3 Herlev Eagles (Denmark) 1

Milton Keynes Lightning 3 Guildford Flames 1

Sheffield Steelers 2 Coventry Blaze 1

Champions Hockey League

Nottingham Panthers 4 SC Bern (Switzerland) 2

FIXTURES

Sunday 3rd September

Challenge Cup Group A

Manchester Storm v Braehead Clan - 5.30pm

Exhibition Games

Coventry Blaze v Sheffield Steelers - 5.15pm

Edinburgh Capitals v Dundee Stars - 6.00pm

Fife Flyers v Herlev Eagles (Denmark) - 6.30pm

Guildford Flames v Milton Keynes Lightning - 6.00pm

Champions Hockey League

Cardiff Devils v HC Davos (Switzerland) - 6.00pm