Match report

Blaze advance to finals weekend

Steelers 3
v
Blaze 3

Defending champions Genting Casino Coventry Blaze booked their place in the Elite League play-off finals weekend after an 8-6 aggregate victory over Sheffield Steelers.

Leading 5-3 from the first leg, Blaze tied the return 3-3 at Sheffield Arena to advance to Nottingham where they aim to become only the third team to retain the play-off title.

Blaze, who had James Isaacs in the line-up with Mike Quesnele missing out, made the perfect start when Russell Cowley fired them in front after just 66 seconds with an assist from Cale Tanaka, his 100th point in all EIHL competitions for Blaze.

Mathieu Roy tied it up on the night on a five-on-three powerplay at 12.25 and Jace Coyle put Steelers 2-1 up at 17.01 to reduce the aggregate score to one.

The series was then level when Colton Fretter capitalised on a powerplay at 30.17 to set up a frantic final period.

Drew Fisher put Blaze back in the lead at 48.56 before Cowley added the insurance marker with an empty-net strike with just 12 seconds remaining.

The result means Blaze made history by becoming the first number eight seed to advance to the semi-finals as they eliminated the first seed and Elite League champions.

Watch the highlights courtesy of Steelers TV:

"We gave up two power-play goals tonight but we got the timely kills. It was a great, gritty effort by this team and I couldn't be more proud of them... As soon as we got to go 5-on-5 I really liked our game tonight and I thought there were some big things to work on for next weekend." - Head Coach, Chuck Weber

"It was a nerve wracking experience at the end there. We've just come in and beat the number 1 team and no one will want to play us. We're going to Nottingham to win it." - Director of Hockey Operations, James Pease

"What a great performance over the two games. The effort from the boys was unbelievable every bit of the way... at the end we were the better team." - Managing Director, Mike Cowley

"We battled hard for 120 minutes against the best team in the league, I couldn't be more proud of everybody." - #41 Brian Stewart