British players contributed eight of the 12 goals as Sheffield Steelers edged Coventry Blaze 7-5 in an Elite Series thriller at the National Ice Centre.

There was little sign of things to come as Brendan Connolly scored the only goal of the first period at 14:16 to put the Steelers ahead and Tanner Eberle made it 2-0 at 21:56.

Mike Hammond closed the gap (26:10) before Jeremy Beaudry restored Sheffield’s two-goal advantage 24 seconds later (26:34), while Josh Waller (28:40) and a goal from Eberle on the powerplay (36:33) made it 5-1 at the second intermission.

The Steelers looked in total control when Liam Kirk scored their sixth at 42:55, but Mac Howlett’s goal at 45:31 started a Coventry comeback.

Tristan Keck (46:58) netted within two minutes, while Sam Duggan (48:51) and Hammond (58:33) – both on the powerplay – pulled the Blaze to within one.

But Sheffield iced the game with Connolly’s empty-net goal at 59:32.

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.