Ice Hockey: Sheffield Steelers' rollercoaster continues with 7-0 win followed by defeat to Coventry
A week may be a long time in politics - but in sport, it flies by.
Three days after losing a Challenge Cup series by 10 goals, Steelers became joint top of the League with a resounding 7-0 victory against Dundee.
Twenty four hours later, Sheffield fought back from two down at Coventry, but eventually ran out of steam, losing 4-2
The weekend was also a time for Steelers to mix sport and politics; they responded robustly to criticism they’d faced after defeats to Nottingham.
Coach Paul Thompson said when the pressure is on: “You have to circle the wagons and point the guns out, not point the guns in. There were many people pointing guns at us that don’t understand the fatigue part of it - that was the biggest reason.”
His club-mate Dave Simms went further, targeting fans who failed to take fatigue into account as a factor in form - the club has played seven games in 12 nights.
“The only people who don’t see this as an issue are the fat internet forum users who knock, knock, moan and whinge. Back to your darkened bedrooms,” he said on Facebook.
At any rate, five league games remain and Steelers are joint top of the league, although Cardiff have a game in hand. Coventry, winners in Wales on Saturday, caught Sheffield cold, scoring after 103 seconds. A well-directed shot from Brenden Walker put Thompson’s men further behind at his old club at 5;13.
Ben O’Connor’s smart play set up Guillaume Desbiens who drove to the net to make it 2-1 at 20;48. Jeff Legue complimented that with a trademark one-timer which levelled on a 5-on-3 Power Play at 25;30.
Walker, a 23-year-old Canadian, banged in his second to restore Blaze’s advantage 14 seconds from the second interval.
His side pinged the Sheffield pipework too before adding a fourth, courtesy of Jordan Pietrus cashing in on a poor clearance. It left the champions with a mountain to climb with 14 minutes to go.
However, on a 5-on-3 PP, the chance came, Blaze’s pipework saving them.
On Saturday, Thompson was delighted by goaltender Marek Pinc in ther 7-0 clobbering of Dundee. It was their biggest win since slaugherting Cardiff 8-1 in September.
“Pincy’s confidence will have been knocked on Tuesday (0-8 loss) but he said ‘Don’t leave me out on Wednesday, I’m not hiding, I’m not running’,” revealed Thompson.
Levi Nelson’s wrist shot started the rout at 4:53 and the side never looked back.
By the first break it was 3-0, after Jeff Legue cashed in on a give-away before Jace Coyle’s deflected shot embarrassed Trever Koenig.
Three more followed from Mathieu Roy - punishing a Koenig blunder - Desbiens and Tyler Mosienko, before a Luke Ferrrara strike at 58;23 ended the bloodbath.