Steelers Back To Winning Ways On Home Ice – Steelers 4:1 Blaze

Game Summary

After defeat to the Cardiff Devils on the road last night, the Sheffield Steelers returned to winning ways on home ice with victory over the Coventry Blaze.

Powerplay goals in the first and second from man of the match Mitchell Balmas and Marco Vallerand were added to by Mikko Juusola and a short-handed effort from Brett Neumann in the third who returned home after his shoulder injury.

First Period [1-0]

With the return to the line up of Mark Simpson who took his place back on the third line alongside Ciampini and Nicholls, Brett Neumann was placed on the fourth line with Shudra and Whistle to bolster the offensive options throughout the lines. Zach Vinnell making way as healthy scratch with Matt Greenfield keeping his spot between the pipes.

A powerplay goal was the only thing to separate the two sides in the first with an early sit down in the penalty box for Mitch Cook who was called for tripping on Patrick Watling who enjoyed some time with the puck in the Blaze zone. The powerplay goal coming at (3.38) from Mitchell Balmas who was fed from across the zone by Dominic Cormier and he fired past Blaze netminder Taran Kozun low glove side.

The Steelers looking relatively comfortable throughout the twenty minutes despite not troubling Kozun on too many occasions tallying 11 shots on the Blaze goal.

Both teams managing to kill off a penalty apiece later in the period before the buzzer sounded to afters between Dowd and Kirkup after a bit of a cross check into the back of the Steelers captain as the Steelers took a one goal lead into the second period.

Second Period [3-1]

Early and late period goals for the Steelers was interluded with a Blaze opener on the powerplay to = double the Steelers lead heading into the final period of regulation.

Little time was needed for the Steelers to find their second of the night with Colton Saucerman floating one in from the blue line and Mikko Juusola finding the perfect tip from close range at (20.45) as Brien Diffley picked up the secondary assist.

However, the Steelers went on to make hard work for themselves when Robert Dowd and Colton Saucerman spent some time together in the penalty box as both were called for back to back delay of the game calls just over a minute apart. With only two seconds remaining on the 5 on 3 at (30.42) the Blaze found their first as space opened up in the slot for Blake Thompson and he finished well past a screened Greenfield. Assist on this one to Johnny Curran.

The teams then swapped bench minor penalties for having too many men on the ice which both killed off.

More penalties saw the Steelers with a man advantage when Tansey was sent to the penalty box for the Steelers, as Luciani and Norrish were called back to back for the Blaze for hooking and tripping respectively.

And the Steelers made the Blaze pay at (39.28) with slick passing between Cormier and Balmas to find Vallerand around the hashmarks and he had the time to fire home into Kozun’s net trying to get across his crease to give the Steelers a two goal lead after forty minutes.

Third Period [4-1]

A powerplay goal for the Steelers in both the first and second period was followed up with a short-handed effort in the third in which there was no reply from the Blaze getting the Steelers back to winning ways on home ice.

A fortuitous call for the Blaze putting them on the powerplay in the 43rd minute as Tansey was called for tripping his man heading in on Greenfield with the Steelers unhappy on another look at the jumbotron replay. However, it worked in the Steelers favour as the returning Brett Neumann picked up the puck and used his speed unassisted down the right to wait and wait on Kozun and pick his spot over the shoulder.

Boarding calls for each team were then traded and killed off as the game turned scrappy towards the end with the Blaze also unhappy after a collision with Nicholls and Kozun, but the Steelers were out of site and skated comfortably to a much needed return to winnings ways and two more points to the league tally.

Once again, another shout out to Greenfield who saved 27 of his 28 shots saved in the night coming out with another impressive 96.43% save percentage.

Awards & League Table

One goal and one assist along with leading the team in points for Mitchell Balmas was rewarded with the Man of the Match award and an Eddy heading to the bowling alley and strike right down the middle.

With the Cardiff Devils currently in action at the time of writing, the Steelers hold a 14 point lead at the top of the table after the Cardiff Devils came out victorious at home against the Steelers last night.

Up Next

Back to back home games for the Sheffield Steelers as the Manchester Storm make the trip to the Utilita Arena next Saturday night with a 7pm face off. See you there!