This weekend, the EIHL’s Elite Series provided some exciting entertainment with close games, runaway wins and feisty encounters that all made up for an excellent weekend of hockey.

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Game 7: Coventry Blaze 4 Manchester Storm 5 OT

Friday night brough the second instalment of the opening fixture of the Elite Series that had previously been won by the Storm in overtime.

However, there would be no change in the result as Manchester were forced into extra-time before securing the extra point.

Craig Peacock put the Storm into the lead after just two minutes of play with a deflected shot sneaking past Jordan Hedley in the Blaze goal.

Although, Danny Stewart’s men were not behind for long and on his Elite Series debut, Luke Ferrara mopped up a loose rebound inside the fourth minute to make it 1-1.

After back and forth play, the leading goal scorer of the series, Ciaran Long restored Manchester’s lead after 18 minutes with a powerplay marker and netted his fifth in four games.

Just like in their previous clash, the Altrincham side extended their lead to 3-1 and the next goal came through Joseph Hazeldine, who beat Hedley with an accurate finish into the top corner on 22 minutes.

Whilst holding a man advantage, Coventry’s Sam Duggan then cut the lead to one goal after beating Sean Bonar with a last minute deflection in the 27th minute.

However, the Blaze’s hard-work was undone just 22 seconds later as Jacob Lundell Noer poked home a loose puck, after a goal mouth scramble.

Ryan Finnerty’s men held their 4-2 lead until the third period and that’s when a case of Deja Vu set in for the Storm as Coventry struck twice to tie the game.

Tristan Keck had make it 4-3 after 48 minutes before David Clements tied the game with only 34 seconds left on the clock.

Stewart had gambled his goalie for an extra attacker and Clements was able to capitalise on the heavy traffic in front of Bonar and beat him with a long range shot from the blueline.

Although, Ryan Finnerty was not finished feeling like he was watching a repeat of April 3rd, as Scott Simmonds flung home the winner from the left circle after 62 minutes.

 

Blaze defenders try to supress the Storm before they surged to the win in overtime (Picture Credit: Scott Wiggins).

 

Game 8: Sheffield Steelers 8 Nottingham Panthers 4

Sheffield and Nottingham renew their rivalries on Saturday night and the Steelers made a flying start, finding themselves 3-0 after just more than two minutes of play.

Tanner Eberle put the home side ahead after just 26 seconds of play and 42 seconds after that, Sondre Olden pounced to double the advantage.

Just when the Panthers thought they could not have a worse start to the derby match, Jason Hewitt piled on more misery for them with a third.

Things went from bad to worse for Nottingham as Olden bagged his brace inside the 13th minutes before Jeremy Beaudry gave Sheffield a massive 5-0 advantage heading into the first break.

It also put an end to Ben Bowns’ night as Jackson Whistle would replace him between the pipes for the final 40 minutes.

However, Tim Wallace’s men finally got off the mark, five minutes into the second period through Austin Cangelosi.

Although, less than two minutes later, Joshua Waller added the sixth goal but the Steelers still had to worry about their rivals gaining momentum, as Kevin Domingue scored on the powerplay at 30 minutes to make it 6-2.

In the 35th minute, Sheffield’s Liam Kirk made it a 3-point night for himself with his first goal of the night and the Steelers seventh.

Although, Domingue beat Churchfield again at the start of the third period to reel their opponents in a little bit closer and after 53 minutes, Cangelosi got his second of the night to cut the deficit to three.

Finally, the man who opened the scoring after 26 seconds, netted the last goal of the game, as Eberle rounded off the scoring at 8-4 and the Steelers made it two out of two derby wins.

 

Sheffield sink their rivals with an quick and dominant start (Picture Credit: Karl Denham).

 

Game 9: Nottingham Panthers 1 Coventry Blaze 3

After disappointing defeats on their last outings, both clubs needed a win and were in a similar situation from when they last met on April 4th.

Just like last before, the Blaze got off to a quick start with Nicolai Bryhnisveen scoring against the Panthers for a second time this series.

After opening the scoring inside eight minutes, Tristan Keck then also got his second against Nottingham this season but this time he scored whilst on the penalty kill.

Danny Stewart’s side were 2-0 up after 12 minutes, with Johno May’s hooking minor working for the Blaze and not against them.

There was then a quick flashpoint in the first period as tempers flared between Coventry’s Max Krogdahl and Nottingham’s Bobby Chamberlain causing the pair to tussle.

In the second period, there would be no change to the score until the final minutes of the session when Christophe Boivin brought Tim Wallace’s Panthers back into the game.

However, Mark Matheson’s hooking foul in the 48th minute proved costly for the home team as Simen Andre Edvardsen capitalised on the man advantage for Coventry to make it 3-1.

The West Midlands club held on and secured two big points and a second win over Nottingham this season.

 

The Panthers attack the Blaze goal as they attempt to mount a comeback (Picture Credit: Scott Wiggins).

 

Game 10: Manchester Storm 4 Sheffield Steelers 6

Aaron Fox’s side continued their good form with another big win on Sunday night and they got off to the perfect start, as Robert Dowd punished a defensive error by Manchester to make it 1-0 after just 35 seconds.

However, the home side hit back a few moments later with Scott Simmonds redirecting Josh Batch’s shot past Ben Churchfield in the fourth minute.

Two minutes after that, Sheffield went ahead again, this time through Jeremy Beaudry’s powerplay goal.

Then, the play began to intensify, with Sam Jones going after Manchester’s Maxime Foriter for boarding Tanner Eberle.

Jones and Fortier grappled with each other before the referees got involved and dished out the penalties, leaving the Storm shorthanded.

In the 17th minute, Beaudry stepped up again and hit another powerplay goal past Sean Bonar to make it 3-1 but Jacob Lundell Noer of the Storm tucked home a loose rebound just before the end of the first period to keep Sheffield within touching distance.

In the second session, Dallas Ehrhardt drove the left wing and jammed the puck past Churchfield to make it an even score on 26 minutes.

Although, Sheffield’s high-powered offence would find a way to get in front once more in the 33rd minutes.

Dowd claimed his second goal of the night after whacking home a cross-goal pass with a first-time hit.

Ryan Finnerty’s men were still trailing by one goal going into the third period but also had a very long powerplay to take advantage of, after David Phillips was ejected and given a five-plus-game penalty for checking from behind.

Ben Lake provided that crucial goal for the Storm, just 63 seconds into the final stanza and that tied the game up at 4-4.

However, before Manchester’s five minute man advantage had ended, Sheffield capitalised again to re-take the lead with a shorthanded goal from Jason Hewitt in the 44th minute.

Adrian Saxrud Danielsen would add a sixth for the Steelers to end the scoring at 6-4 in the 52nd minute and to guarantee the win, which positions the Yorkshire club at the top of the standings.

 

Storm and Steelers players tussle during their intense battle (Picture Credit: Mark Ferris).

 

LEAGUE TABLE

Team GP W L OTL Pts
Sheffield Steelers 5 4 1 0 8
Manchester Storm 5 3 2 0 6
Coventry Blaze 5 2 1 2 6
Nottingham Panthers 5 1 4 0 2

 

(Featured Image: Scott Wiggins)

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