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15th September 2007
|Referee: N Boniface|
|1 : 1 : 0 : 1 = 3||Goals||0 : 1 : 1 : 0 = 2|
|10 : 9 : 11 : 2 = 32||Shots||4 : 7 : 15 : 0 = 26|
|27 : 2 : 8 : 0 = 37||Penalties in Minutes||17 : 8 : 4 : 0 = 29|
Sheffield Steelers 3OT2 Coventry Blaze after overtime
Sheffield welcome back Rod Sarich from injury, Blaze missing Roman Ndur.
3273 saw Sheffield steal the win when Ian Manzano shot home from close in on the right 45 seconds into overtime. The home side established a 2 goal lead when ex-Blaze captain Ashley Tait rifled home from the left (12:25) in a feisty opening session. Joey Talbot then drove the net to double the lead (28:39) as Neal Martin sat a charging penalty.
But Dan Carlson pulled one back, firing home from an acute angle on the right (33:24) as the home side tired badly. Ashley Tait's late penalty for firing the puck over the plexi allowed Sylvain Cloutier to force the extra session (56:43).
Blaze's Danny Stewart and Steelers' Talbot clashed just 42 seconds in. Under the new rules for fighting, Talbot was assessed an automatic 2+5+10 as the instigator, with Stewart taking a fighting major plus minors for boarding and cross-checking. Just 34 seconds later Calder was sitting a cross-checking call and the home side had 86 seconds of 5-on-3 with Trevor Koenig turning aside two shots from Randy Dagenais and Ian Mazano with Jonathan Phillips blanked on the doorstep. Phillips and Martin clashed over that for a minor a-piece.
With Blaze back at full strength Ashley Tait took a hooking penalty and Carlson should have done better when he intercepted Jody Lehman's attempt to clear the puck up the middle of the ice. Big saves from Cloutier and Matt Soderstrom followed.
A long pass up the ice released Adam Calder up the left wing, but Lehman pushed out to make another big stop.
With Martin and Shane Johnson sitting delay of game penalties Blaze went 4-on-3 for 73 seconds when Ryan Finnerty took a slashing penalty, but Blaze managed one shot from Jonathan Weaver which deflected harmlessly over the top.
With the game settling down Ashley Tait circled out of the left corner to fire home just inside the near post. Cloutier and Jason Hewitt clashed for more penalties but no chances came at either end.
Early in the second, Soderstrom took a holding penalty and Koenig had to work, turning aside shots from Manzano (twice) and Doug Sheppard. But Lehman was soon busy again, denying Cloutier and fishing the puck off Curtis Huppe's stick when the ex-Belfast forward seemed certain to score.
Blaze comfortably killed Stewart's hooking minor but Martin went for charging and on the extended powerplay Talbot forced the puck home across Koenig.
Mark Thomas' interference minor saw Ashley Tait breaking away short-handed but Koenig saved comfortably and Lehman found himself saving from Huppe. Russell Cowley fired the puck behind the prostrate keeper but somehow Sheffield's defence kept the puck out of the net.
Thomas returned but the momentum was clearly with Blaze as Huppe burst down the right and Lehman did well to stop his fierce shot. A minute later Carlson fired home between keeper and near post from low on the right. Surprisingly Blaze failed to work Lehman for the remaining 6 minutes of the period.
Early in the third period Johnson took a slashing penalty and before play stopped Finnerty was given a slashing minor, for 2 full minutes of 5-on-3 play for Blaze. Carlson's shot was turned aside to Calder but Lehman made a second stop despite being prone on the ice. Cloutier forced another stop and Weaver had an effort blocked by his own player. Just as Sheffield returned to full strength Blaze surged down the right and, although Lehman blocked Stewart's shot from the corner, the puck fell invitingly into the crease but Dagenais was on hand to clear the danger. However Coventry kept the puck in play and Dagenias took a cross-checking penalty. Still Lehman stood tall, denying Barrie Moore and Cowley.
But Moore's cross-checking penalty left Koenig making the saves, Ashley Tait and Dagenais firing in. With 4 seconds remaining on Moore's penalty Calder took a slashing minor and Dagenais and Sarich kept Koenig busy.
Huppe tried a wrap-around at Lehman's right post, but Johnson forced two stops at the other end and it looked as if Sheffield might edge the game.
However Ashley Tait's penalty saw Blaze coach Paul Thompson call a 30 second timeout and Cloutier made it count, but not before Doug Sheppard had broken up the right with Finnerty almost reaching the rebound from Sheppard's shot.
Into overtime and Blaze won the draw and took the play to Sheffield, but Cloutier and Huppe couldn't find the target and the home side swept down the other end. Ashley Tait fired in from the left and Manzano had pushed up on the other side to bag the game winner.
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