COVENTRY BLAZE provided fans with the perfect New Year’s gift by defeating Nottingham 5-3 at the National Ice Centre.
Just two days on from defeating the Panthers at the Skydome, Coventry completed the double in emphatic style – though did it the hard way after letting a four goal lead slip.
Four goals within 19 minutes in the opening period stunned the Panthers as markers from Jordan Pietrus, Carl Lauzon and two powerplay goals from Drew Fisher – in under two minutes – put the Blaze in command.
Nottingham failed to let their miserable start deter their present performance as the home side quickly fought back with three goals in ten minutes to reduce Coventry’s lead to just one goal.
Jordan Pietrus scored his second of the afternoon at 46.37 to all but confirm Coventry’s win – their fifth in 12 days.
There is concern however for 6’ 7” defenceman Boris Valabik who was forced to miss the majority of the game after taking a puck to the face – raising concern of a potential jaw injury.
Despite the loss of Valabik, Blaze headcoach Chuck Weber was delighted with the resilience of his side and wants to see more of the same in 2016.
“I think that’s the most satisfying victory I’ve experienced since taking over the Blaze,” said Weber.
“We battled hard and fortunately re-grouped at the end of the second period after letting three goals in.
“We’d like to start 2016 in the right way, Belfast isn’t going to be easy so we need to be professional about New Year as we have a huge weekend coming up.
“Our fans were great today, they were loud, die hard and great to see.”