Blaze put pressure on league leading Steelers
COVENTRY Blaze continued their recent winning form with a thumping 6-2 away win over Manchester Phoenix.
Blaze have now won seven in eight and the Steelers's lead at the top of the table is now six points - with the teams meeting in Coventry on Sunday.
The visitors were always value for their win as goals from Sylvain Deschatelets, Russell Cowley and Erik Hjalmarsson gave them a comfortable first period advantage.
Brett Clouthier pulled one back for Manchester in the second period as Blaze spurned a host of scoring opportunities.
But Adam Calder added to their lead with a shorthanded goal early in the final, although Kenton Smith countered for Manchester just 44 seconds later.
However, goals from Barrie Moore and Cowley restored a commanding look to the scoreline.
Belfast Giants edged Hull Stingrays in a 14-goal thriller at the Odyssey Arena but only made their 8-6 win safe with a last minute goal, after Hull pulled goalie Curtis Cruikshank.
Paul Deniset produced the season's best scoring performance with five goals and two assists.
Cardiff Devils continued their good form with a fourth win from five, a 4-1 home triumph over Newcastle Vipers, while bottom side Basingstoke's woeful run continued.
They slumped to a 20th straight loss with a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham.