Sheffield Steelers collapse in final 10 minutes at Coventry Blaze

Josh Unice: between Sheffield's posts
Josh Unice: between Sheffield's posts

Sheffield Steelers’ pursuit of the League leaders faltered last night after they gave away the lead THREE times at Coventry Blaze.

After three consecutive wins, they went down 5-3 in the Midlands, unable to add to the points from a 9-2 landslide win at Hull Stingrays, on Saturday.

Sheffield had scored 20 goals in the previous three matches prior to last night, but couldn’t sustain the momentum at the SkyDome Arena.

Yet they took just 92 seconds to get off the mark, Michael Forney’s tip-in finishing off a move featuring his linemates. But Coventry, who beat Sheffield 2-1 in Steelers’ last home game, came into the game on the back of four straight victories and clearly have a fine team spirit.

They cashed in on Tom Petruska’s tripping penalty at 9;56 as Canadian forward Derek Lee levelled. Josh Unice, back from concussion, stopped a 2-on-1 Blaze attack to preserve the lead. Jeff Legue almost put Sheffield back in front but his effort hit the post.

Five minutes later, and for the second time of the evening, Mathieu Roy set up Forney who crashed home on the Power Play for 2-1.

There was then an exchange of goals, Jakub Sindel arrived from deep to meet the puck for 2-2 at 38:23 but Tyler Mosienko regained the lead 65 seconds later. Coventry upped the ante in the last period.

And an exasperated Sheffield lost their lead for the third time when Steven Chalmers struck at 50;06.

A regulation point was denied them when Lee scored a magnificent shot at 56;42. And Jereme Tendler choked the life out of any Steeler comeback.

*On Saturday, Steelers ripped Hull apart.

Defenceman Ben O’Connor collected a brace as did Colton Fretter and Roy.

Mosienko, Legue and Forney added to the total. Jordan Mayer and Sam Towner chalked up Stingrays’ consolations.