20th Sep, 2018

Away defeat follows home win for Coventry Blaze

THREE third-period goals were good enough for Guildford Flames to beat Coventry Blaze at the Spectrum in the Elite Hockey League on Sunday.

Blaze travelled without Danick Paquette, who was suspended for three games following a hit from behind penalty the night before against Edinburgh, and Dorian Peca, a long-term injury absentee.

Meanwhile, Guildford had Chris Carrozzi start in net with former Blaze goalie Brian Stewart sat in the stands.

The away side, cheered on by a healthy following, arguably had the better of the early going, Carrozzi standing strong to keep the score level after 20 minutes.

Against the run of play, ex-Coventry player Ben Davies opened the scoring for Guildford (22.36).

The game was tied just after the halfway mark, Ryan Dingle showing good speed and finding Marco Vallerand for 1-1 (30.46).

The effort was the Canadian’s 33rd strike of the Elite League season, taking him back to the top of the leading goalscorers chart.

Scoring three unanswered, the third period belonged to the Flames. Brett Ferguson made it 2-1 (41.38) before it was 3-1 through Jesse Craige (48.01).

Just over a minute later, the game was dead as Rhett Rachinski beat Kevin Nasituk for 4-1 (49.02).

The Blaze goalie later denied Davies a second on a penalty-shot but there was to be no response at the other end as the Flames held out for a 4-1 victory.

Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said: “I thought we played a solid road game.

“Our PK was immense and better than it’s been all year.

“With that, however, we were overworked and I felt we looked tired at the end.

“We pick ourselves up and move on. We had chances to break the game open and failed to finish and that’s the fine line this time of year.”

Defeat followed the 7-2 home victory over Edinburgh Capitals thanks to a pair of goals from man of the match Ben Lake and top scorer Marco Vallerand.

The win was play-off chasing Coventry’s 20th straight home win against bottom of the table Capitals.

Stewart added: “These games are tough to play in.

“I’ve been in this league a long time and I’ve seen games like this when a team comes in short-benched and it goes the wrong way, but we did what we needed to do.

“I don’t think we were great but we got some timely goals and killing off that five-minute penalty in the second was big as well. We got the job done.”

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