September 26th, 2016

Chuck Weber praises Brian Stewart after Nottingham Panthers victory

Updated: 5:56 pm, Sep 23, 2015

BLAZE head coach Chuck Weber praised the performance of goaltender Brian Stewart after watching his side register their first victory in the Challenge Cup.

Russell Cowley scored the only goal of the game thanks to a short-handed marker in the 24th minutes as Blaze beat rivals Nottingham Panthers 1-0 at the Skydome on Sunday night.

Stewart produced an heroic performance between the sticks after posting a 39-sae shut out.

And Weber admits he was pleased with the response from his players after they had lost out 5-0 on the road at Sheffield Steelers the previous evening.

“You are always happier when you win but I have not forgotten Saturday night,” said Weber.

“There is still lots of work to do but the boys battled and there was a better spirit. They supported each other and there was a moment when Stewie made a big save in the first period and everyone was up on the bench and tapping the boards.

“There were a handful of guys I challenged to get us out of this and we now need to build on this next weekend. Relentless simplicity was our calling card and we played the game that way.

“Stewie will be the first to admit he has not been at his best in the first four games but that was more of the Stewie we know and love.

“He did a better job controlling his rebounds and a better job being big in the net. We can go as far as he can take us.

“Russell Cowley and Jim Jorgensen produced a great short-handed effort. They are two of our captains and you need those guys to lead. Ashley (Tait) and Boris (Valabik) also did a better job.”

Goals from Fredrik Vestberg and Levi Nelson gave Sheffield a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period on Saturday evening.

Robert Dowd (21.51) and Tyler Mosienko (26.03) extended Steelers’ lead with the latter then scoring again on 29 minutes as Blaze were blanked out again by Sheffield for the second week in a row.

Speaking after the heavy defeat, Weber said: “We had too many passengers and too many are not simplifying their game and doing the little things right.

“We want to get to what Sheffield do – they do the simple things extremely well and we are nowhere near there yet.

“We are in survival mode right now and we will continue to struggle against teams like Sheffield unless we change that.”

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