DOUBLE FOR CONNOLLY AS SHEFFIELD SEE-OFF THE BLAZE

Great Britain forward Brendan Connolly scored twice – and had a four-point night – as Sheffield Steelers beat Coventry Blaze 5-3 in the Elite Series at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.

British international Mike Hammond assisted on Tristan Keck’s powerplay goal at 2:12 as Coventry took an early lead, before GB team-mate Connolly’s deflected shot drew Sheffield level (9:50), also with a man advantage.

Matthew Myers scored his first goal as a Steeler to give them a 2-1 lead at 32:18 while Connolly scored his second at 33:30, assisted by Robert Dowd.

Hammond and Luke Ferrara combined on Janne Laakkonen’s five-on-three powerplay goal 23 seconds into the third period (40:23) to give Coventry hope, but Connolly and Jason Hewitt fed Liam Kirk as Sheffield took a 4-2 lead (47:24).

Connolly then picked up his second assist of the evening (51:49), teeing up Robert Dowd, as the Steelers took control of the third period.

Ferrara contributed his second assist on Keck’s second goal at 58:16 (powerplay), but the Steelers go two points clear of the Blaze at the top of the Elite Series standings.

Four teams – Coventry Blaze, Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers – are competing in the 2021 Elite Series at the National Ice Centre.

The event has been organised under the government’s Elite Sport Guidance, with regular testing and a full covid-19 protocol in place.

The tournament is forming part of Great Britain’s preparations for the upcoming World Championship in Latvia.

All games are available to watch on a live stream – click here for more details and to purchase the webcasts.

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.