Goal avalanche for Sheffield Steelers - but more work to do

Steelers’ shoot-on-sight policy has brought them 17 goals in three games - yet coach Paul Thompson says there is still room for improvement.

Thompson ran up a 5-0 win over his old side Coventry Blaze, following the 4-0 triumph at their rink a week earlier.

Bad night at the office for Coventry netminder Brian Stewart. Pic: Dean Woolley

Bad night at the office for Coventry netminder Brian Stewart. Pic: Dean Woolley

The foundation was laid by the first three ‘route one’ goals - the forwards single-mindedly going for goal when other options were available.

The coach said: “We did a lot of scouting on (goaltender, Brian) Stewart, how he likes to play. But I like my teams to be direct. Even on a two-on-one, defencemen are so good at taking away that back door play. If you don’t buy a ticket you don’t win the raffle. I want us to be shot-first.”

Steelers stopped scoring after 28 minutes and Thompson was mildly irked by the lack of potency on the Power Plays.

“I really like the way we play with that urgency we are coming at teams hard, and getting the lead early on” he said. “It tapered off in the third. The urgency dropped off a bit on the Power Play, which is going to happen at that scoreline but we have talked about that in the room, it is something we want to get better at.

“When you can come away from 5-0 victories and still have pointers where you think you can improve I think that’s a good sign.”

He explained the endeavour shown by the team did not dip: “I just felt that on the PP you need to up the intensity and speed and play like we do when we are 5-on-5. If you can be critical when you are winning like this, constructively, and look to come back to work and try and make that better, it should make us a better club.”

Zack Fitzgerald nailed Cale Tanaka on the boards and then assisted on goal number one. The puck fell to Frederik Vestberg who buried the puck high past Stewart at 4;59.

Levi Nelson sprung off the bench, dispossessed a Blaze player and set off for goal. Like Vestberg he considered a pass, but rifled home instead, at 7;51. Mike Duco showed his commitment to the Steeler cause in a different way - painfully blocking a shot on the side of his leg, from former Nottingham Panthers star Chris Lawrence.

The solo goals continued with Rob Dowd threading down the right and shooting past a clearly unhappy Stewart.

Then it was the Tyler Mosienko show.

He gently navigating the puck around a grounded goaltender and broke on the penalty kill to squeeze the puck over the line at 28;01.

While Chuck Weber’s team didn’t conceded again the night only got more wretched - Carl Lauzon suffered a nasty left injury and had to be aided off the ice.