September 29th, 2016

Blaze taste first Elite League defeat in Belfast

Updated: 4:45 pm, May 07, 2015

BLAZE saw their 100 per cent start to the 2014/15 Elite League campaign come to an abrupt end after tasting defeat on the road at defending champions Belfast Giants.

Despite welcoming defenceman Rory Rawlyk back from injury Blaze fell to a 4-2 defeat in Belfast on Saturday evening.

The visitors fell behind to a Mike Kompon goal after just 71 seconds but Jereme Tendler and Derek Lee scored to put Blaze in front.

However Ray Sawada leveled proceedings and after a scoreless second period, Jeff Mason nudged Giants ahead before Mark Garside wrapped up the win late on.

“I could not fault the effort but it came down to execution and that is easily correctable,” said head coach Marc LeFebvre.

“We were in the game right up until they scored the fourth and Murph (Giants goaltender Stephen Murphy) made a couple of good stops to prevent us from tying the game.”

It proved to be a weekend to forget for Blaze fans after they suffered late heartbreak the following evening after losing 3-2 in overtime at home to Sheffield Steelers in the Challenge Cup.

A goal five seconds from the end of overtime after Kyle Bochek and Tendler had both pulled Blaze level on two occasions was a bitter pill to swallow for LeFebvre.

Blaze now sit fourth in Group B with three points from three matches.

“We are frustrated as we felt there should have been a penalty called at the end and they go on and take their scoring chance,” LeFebvre continued.

“But I thought both teams deserved at least a point. It was not the prettiest of games by both of our standards but we competed again.”

Despite back-to-back defeats the Blaze boss was proud of his team’s performance.

LeFebvre added: “We have been in the games right down to the wire this weekend. We just need to find a way to close the game out against the top teams.

“I am proud of the effort this weekend and it is a big point for us. With everyone beating everyone you need to pick up points where you can. Now we move on and prepare for next week.”

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