Blaze miss out on end of season playoffs following devastating Sheffield loss - The Coventry Observer

11th Aug, 2022

Blaze miss out on end of season playoffs following devastating Sheffield loss

Shaun Reynolds 26th Mar, 2017 Updated: 26th Mar, 2017

A DEVASTATING 4-1 loss in Sheffield confirmed Coventry Blaze will not feature in this year’s EIHL Playoff Series, the first time in the club’s history.

It ends a miserable year for the Blaze after they were also knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the group stage earlier in the season.

Danny Stewart’s men entered tonight’s game against the Steelers knowing a win was needed, while also relying on the result in Manchester.

Blaze had been locked in a gruelling battle with Manchester Storm and Dundee Stars in the past month, with all three teams fighting over the concluding two playoff positions.

A scoreless first period at the Sheffield Arena gave Blaze fans hope as Stewart’s forward lines appeared to be working well together with multiple efforts on goal.

However news filtered through that Manchester had taken an early lead against the Panthers, putting Blaze on the back foot.

It got worse for Blaze fans as Robert Dowd opened Steelers’ account after 22 minutes to hand the home side a one goal lead.

Assistant Blaze coach Ashley Tait failed to give in though and Blaze were soon level with eight minutes remaining in the middle period.

With the Panthers equalising in Manchester, Blaze only had to score to hand themselves the initiative.

But Sheffield, who have only lost to Blaze once all season, soon rediscovered their unquestionable form against the Skydome outfit and quickly posted two goals with Armstrong and Fretter adding goals two and three.

In Manchester, the Storm had taken the lead once more – with Nottingham equalising to make it 2-2. However the result from across the Peak District seemed irrelevant as Steelers soon added a fourth through Matthieu Roy.

The loss comes as a complete contrast to the mood amongst fans 12 months ago – where former Blaze forward Drew Fisher scored a dramatic goal with minutes remaining to book Blaze’s spot in the EIHL Playoff Finals Weekend.

 

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