Blaze too stern for the Steelers; down Fife Flyers in four-point weekend - The Coventry Observer

Blaze too stern for the Steelers; down Fife Flyers in four-point weekend

Coventry Editorial 20th Feb, 2019 Updated: 20th Feb, 2019   0

A FOUR point weekend from Coventry Blaze ramped up their play-offs push after defeating Sheffield Steelers and Fife Flyers.

It takes them to within a point of Dundee Stars inside the play-off places, having played two games less than their rivals.

A penalty shootout at the SkyDome earned Blaze a 2-1 victory to take them past the Steelers, after tempers became heated between the two sides right from the start.

Two-minute penalties were handed to Blaze defenceman Kevin Noble and Steelers forward Robert Dowd, whilst Aaron Johnson was given an extended penalty for boarding (3.14).

Kevin Morris was then given a two-minute penalty for slashing (19.09) an opponent, prior to the deadlock being broken in the middle of the second period.

Tom Zanoski snuck the puck past Matt Hackett (30.56) for a Steelers lead, followed by David Clements and Nicolai Bryhnisveen also received penalties.

It was Bryhnisveen who struck a leveller (48.43), leading to overtime which proved scoreless.

In penalty shots, Hackett’s saves from Anthony DeLuca, Evan McGrath, John Armstrong and John Pitt were vital and allowed Alex Nikiforuk and Thom Flodqvist to find the net and win the game for Blaze.

Head coach Danny Stewart said: “It was playoff style hockey and credit to both teams. It was an even matched game which went to a shoot-out where anything can happen but we had two nice finishes and Hackett was great all night. There were a lot of positives tonight.”

Victory on Sunday had followed a 7-4 victory away to Fife Flyers, following a frantic six-goal first period.

Marcus Basara (3.41) and Brett Bulmer (4.07) gave the hosts an early lead, with Flodqvist responding for Coventry (11.29) and Joe Basaraba (13.11) making it 3-1.

Tim Crowder (16.57) and Shawn Pauly (19.54) levelled at the period end, before Dillon Lawrence gave them a 4-3 lead (37.25).

The Flyers then equalised through Evan Bloodoff (40.25), but Tim Crowder (47.14), and a double from Pauly to earn him a hat-trick (49:13 and 53:49) saw off the hosts.

Blaze are in action on Wednesday night away to Nottingham Panthers, ahead of reverse fixtures this weekend against Sheffield Steelers and Fife Flyers.

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