CHUCK Weber has spoken of his pride after guiding Blaze to the Elite League play-offs.
After losing 2-0 away at Sheffield Steelers on Saturday night, Blaze bounced back the following evening and showed their battling qualities to come-from-behind to beat Hull Stingrays 3-2 in a shoot-out at the Skydome.
It means Blaze become the sixth team to qualify for the play-offs which leaves Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers and Hull Stingrays fighting it out for the final two places heading into the last weekend of the regular season.
“We are in the play-offs so it is good from that standpoint,” said Weber.
“The boys have gone through a lot of adversity this year so I am proud of the way they have handled that, they deserve a lot of credit.
“The bar has been set and the performances in the last two games have not been up to the level we are capable of.
“I have not been happy with the two performances this weekend, our execution and basic game needs to be better.
“We need to be in a better place in our play if we are to achieve our remaining goals which is to be potentially win the play-offs.”
After a scoreless first period, Blaze found themselves 2-0 down by the next break on Sunday night with goals from Carl Lauzon and Cory Tanaka putting the Stingrays in control.
Ryan O’Marra pulled a goal back early in the final period and then tied the game up with three minutes remaining with his team-high 17th marker of the season.
The match moved to a shoot-out with O’Marra and Ben Arnt being successful to earn Blaze the additional point and an eighth successive home victory.
The play-offs get under way the week after the regular season ends, with two-legged quarter-finals. Play-off finals weekend takes place at the National Ice Centre on April 4 and 5.
Netminder Brian Stewart just gets his glove to Corey Tanaka’s shot. (s) Photo by Scott Wiggins