A PAIR of goals in the opening two periods denied Coventry Blaze a win at the Skydome on Sunday night, losing 4-2 to Nottingham Panthers.
Their latest loss means the Blaze have gone two weekends without victory, after the Skydome outfit lost 6-3 to Cardiff in the Challenge Cup on Saturday night in the Welsh capital.
Danny Stewart’s men made a disastrous start to the game, conceding two goals in three minutes as Geoff Waugh and Jeff Dimmen executed two well worked goals at 13.04 and 16.45.
Josh Godfrey skated freely through the neutral zone to bring the Blaze to within a goal of the visiting side shortly before the buzzer to mark the end of the first period.
A prolonged exchange of words at the end of the first period appeared to work to the Panthers advantage Jeff Brown scored shortly into the second period.
Brown’s goal was immediately responded to though as Brett Robinson made up for an earlier missed opportunity to bring the Blaze to within a goal once more.
Stephen Schultz – who scored first in the Panthers’ playoff winning final success against the Blaze last year – then doubled the Panthers lead at 34.13.
Despite a late Jordan Pietrus goal with seconds to go – bringing the Blaze to within a goal – Panthers’ skater Brad Moran slotted home an empty netter.
Although the Blaze have now lost their last four games, Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said he isn’t considering firing any players at this moment in time.
Stewart said: “Tonight was disappointing as we worked hard for little reward.
“We made the same mistakes tonight as we have done in previous games – we keep playing catch up and it’d be nice to get the first goal.
“We need to make strong plays at the right time, this team will have success but we need to ensure everything clicks.
“I can’t fault the levels of competing so far the boys are showing tremendous spirit and we’re firing plenty of pucks on net – it’s just a couple of silly mistakes that our costing us.”