COVENTRY Blaze climbed into the Elite League play-offs with a 4-2 win over Dundee Stars on Wednesday night in Scotland.
Travelling near on 400 miles to fulfil the fixture the previous day, the preparations in Dundee paid dividends with two goals second in both the second and the third period to give Blaze a huge win.
Tim Crowder opened the scoring on 32.01 with his eighth goal in the six games played against the Stars this season.
Matt Bissonnette found the net with a strike past Matt Hackett shortly after (35.40), but Ross Venus ensured Coventry re-took the lead (37.07) thanks to Nicolai Bryhnisveen’s lay-off.
Shawn Pauly and Crowder played their part in Ben Lake firing his 32nd of the season to put some distance between the two sides, making it 3-1 on 49.13.
Like Crowder, Lake has some form against the Stars this season – making it five goals in six games against them.
Dundee had to scrap relentlessly to try and claw themselves back into the game and revive their play-off hopes, and they did just that when Brian Hart narrowed the scores to 3-2 on 55.46.
But when Kevin Morris sent the puck hurtling into the back of an empty net with 21 seconds remaining, it was game over and crucial points in the bag secured for Blaze.
Head coach Danny Stewart was left in high spirits after coming through a must-win game for his side with points on the board.
“I’m proud of the guys. It was a must win game.
“At the end of the day whatever team makes it, whatever team makes it can be proud of the way they battled.
“It’s a fine margin, and fortunately we got the bounces tonight.”
With just four games of the regular season remaining, Blaze head to Guildford Flames on Sunday (6pm) at the Guildford Spectrum, before hosting Belfast Giants on Wednesday (7:30pm) at the Skydome Arena.