Sunday: Sheffield Steelers concede five at Coventry Blaze in fresh set-back

Jonathan Phillips, right, at Coventry on Sunday night: Scott Wiggins Photography
Jonathan Phillips, right, at Coventry on Sunday night: Scott Wiggins Photography

Sheffield Steelers' crippling lack of consistency struck again.

They went down 5-2 in their first visit of the season to Coventry Blaze; it was their fourth loss in seven games.

The defeat at Paul Thompson's former club increases the gloom over Steelerland and chisels into confidence that the new look team is a coherent unit.

Blaze nabbed two goals in the final six minutes to run up the scoreboard.

Steelers had been 3-2 victors over Nottingham Panthers on Saturday, a game which attracted 7,342 fans and they had been confident of their second consecutive road win.

With Jordan Owens and Robert Dowd out injured, Steelers had to look elsewhere for offence.

Chris Lawrence laughs off a punch in the face from Jacob Doty during Saturday's 3-2 win over Nottingham Panthers. Pic by Dean Woolley

Chris Lawrence laughs off a punch in the face from Jacob Doty during Saturday's 3-2 win over Nottingham Panthers. Pic by Dean Woolley

They found it after two minutes, when defenceman seized on a rebound from Tanner Eberle’s shot and made it 1-0.

Another d-man could have added to the tally, but Aaron Johnson's shot struck the post.

Danny Stewart's men, who had beaten Glasgow Clan at the SkyDome the night before, were level though at 16;44 when Chris Joyaux's slapshot flashed through traffic and into Jackson Whistle's net.

Steelers were caught asleep 15 seconds into the middle period, Alex Nikiforuk at the back door to tap in Blaze's go-ahead goal with disturbing ease.

It was the first time Paul Thompson's troops had been behind at the weekend and they had a shorthanded breakaway chance, but Stefan Della Rovere can’t bury the puck.

But Eberle built on Saturday's first goal for the club with a 2-2 equaliser from Josh Pitt's rebound.

Double misfortune hit though: Justin Hache fired in off the post for Blaze and then on-form Eberle shot over the bar from a penalty shot. 

The third session was illuminated by a Lake breakaway, after Ryan Martinelli lost the puck, but the effort was stopped by Whistle.

Steeler Justin Buzzeo came close, too, his wrist shot pinging off the crossbar. But at 55:04 Blaze killed off the game with a fourth from Hansen, his second point of the evening.

A time out and a pulled goalie invited an empty net goal from Hansen.