Mistakes proves costly for Blaze

Mistakes proved costly for the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze as they were defeated 4-7 by the Sheffield Steelers at Skydome Arena.

The victory for Sheffield means that a regulation win in Cardiff on Wednesday will see them crowned Elite League Champions.

The teams combine for nine goals during the first half of the game, with six coming in a thrilling opening period.

Sheffield’s Daniel Ciampini was first on the scoresheet, finding space in front of Taran Kozun’s net at 2.27 and finishing well from Scott Allen’s pass.

Blaze responded well and equalised on the next shift when Mitch Cook broke on an odd man rush and found Alessio Luciani who made no mistake in close on Matthew Greenfield at 2.42.

Steelers’ Captain Robert Dowd grabbed the lead again for his side less than 40 seconds later, converting a cross-ice pass from Mitchell Balmas.

With Cole Shudra in the penalty box on a double minor, Blaze were caught pressing just past the ten-minute mark and Marco Vallerand made them pay, scoring on a 2-on-1 break.

Johnny Curran cut the deficit to 2-3 with 4.38 remaining in the first, beating Greenfield on a feed by Aidan Speallacy.

After strong work behind the net, Ciampini’s well spotted pass was finished by Scott Allen at 18.22 to give the Steelers a two-goal advantage after twenty minutes.

Three more goals came in the second, with Luciani (23.28) and Vallerand (24.35) each registering again and Cole Shudra (27.17) giving the league leaders a 3-6 advantage to end the middle period.

Blaze Man of the Match Luciani gave Coventry hope on 51.12 with his hat-trick goal but again the Steelers hit back with Ciampini scoring his second, again short-handed to complete the 4-7 result and put Sheffield one result away from their first title in nearly a decade.