Ice Hockey: Phoenix fail to breach Bronsard's battlements

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The Independent Online

The Elite League champions Sheffield Steelers overcame the absence of coach Mike Blaisdell to round off their play-off group games with a 4-0 win over Manchester Phoenix at the Sheffield Arena on Sunday night.

Blaisdell was forced into the stands with a match penalty for travesty of the game in the 3-3 tie at Belfast Giants on Friday. A crowd of 4,000 saw Steelers netminder Christian Bronsard make 14 saves as goals from Dion Darling and Mike Peron and a Brent Bobyck brace put Phoenix to the sword.

Elsewhere, Coventry Blaze lost 7-4 to Cardiff Devils at the Skydome. Ashley Tait scored the opening goal for Coventry, but Cardiff hit seven unanswered goals from Mike Ware (2), Ed Patterson (2), Dennis Maxwell, Matt Myers and Jeff Burgoyne to stun the hosts.

On Saturday, Belfast Giants' hopes of making the final four ended with a 2-1 defeat by Manchester at the Odyssey Arena. Panthers secured their place in the semi-finals with a 5-3 victory over Coventry.

Steelers face Cardiff in the semi-finals, with Manchester facing Nottingham next weekend at the National Ice Centre.