Colton Fretter scored four goals as Sheffield Steelers romped to a maximum point weekend.
The 34-year-old Canadian recorded his biggest personal haul for a long time with a resounding 8-2 win at Coventry Blaze.
The veteran forward nabbed the opener and then three in 12 minutes of the last period.
Coach Paul Thompson had said he’d hoped his team would play more freely after sweeping away recent “negativity” over home losses. And that desire seemed to be paying dividends when Fretter scored at 4;34, scoring on a breakaway after blocking a shot at the other end.
Sheffield have been playing better away than at home and it was comforting for the travelling contingent to see Robert Dowd tip in a Jace Coyle effort to double the advantage.
But it was Blaze who got on the scoresheet, Swedish forward Robin Bergman converting, a deflection of Ben O’Connor, at 24:10. Dowd though was in unstoppable offensive form and scored with a firm back-hander, unassisted, at 34:43.
The next goal came, again, from Fretter, tapping in a first line goal, with goalie Brian Stewart helpless, to make it 4-1 at 43.25.
Mark Cantin kept Blaze in it with a goal and then the contest overheated as Guillaume Desbiens and Garrett Klotz fought a cracking battle. The exchange suited Steelers the better, with Mathieu Roy scoring Steelers’ fifth at 51.34 and less than a minute later Fretter got his third.
The winger added his fourth at 55;16 on a Power Play to underline his contribution even further.
Blaze changed their goalie which simply incited Sheffield to add an eight, Roy’s second of the night.
The 8-2 annihalation was a morale booster for Steelers who were in need of a goal rush after splitting their last thre games.
n Geoff Walker, a 29-year-old Canadian, is due to arrive to take on wing duties from Italian Club Fassa this week.
He was leading his team in goals and assists in the Alpine League.
Sunday 5th February
Cardiff Devils 5 Manchester Storm 3
Coventry Blaze 2 Sheffield Steelers 8
Edinburgh Capitals 3 Belfast Giants 8
Fife Flyers 4 Nottingham Panthers 3 (OT)
Wednesday 8th February
Braehead Clan v Manchester Storm – 7.30pm
Sheffield Steelers v Fife Flyers – 7.30pm @ iceSheffield
Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Belfast Giants v Cardiff Devils – 7.00pm
(Result from 1st leg Belfast 5 Cardiff 4)
Friday 10th February
Belfast Giants v Dundee Stars – 7.00pm
Saturday 11th February
Braehead Clan v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.00pm
Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils – 7.00pm
Manchester Storm v Fife Flyers – 7.00pm
Nottingham Panthers v Sheffield Steelers – 7.00pm
Saturday 12th February
Braehead Clan v Coventry Blaze – 6.00pm
Cardiff Devils v Nottingham Panthers – 6.00pm
Dundee Stars v Manchester Storm – 6.30pm
Edinburgh Capitals v Sheffield Steelers – 6.00pm
Fife Flyers v Belfast Giants – 6.30pm