8th Apr, 2020

Clinical Blaze stepped up - Stewart

Ben Tyler 17th Feb, 2020

COVENTRY Blaze’s weekend eventually went to plan after Sunday’s 5-3 defeat of the Glasgow Clan, a day after a 4-3 reverse at Cardiff Devils.

Danny Stewart hailed a “huge win” for his fifth-placed side, who are well placed to enjoy a successful end to their Elite League season.

The Blaze head coach believes his side showed a clinical edge when required, and said: “I certainly don’t think we were at our best tonight, certainly in the first two periods.

“Our powerplay wasn’t very good tonight, but when we needed it to step up it did, with two big goals.”

In Sunday night’s win at the Skydome Arena, the hosts had a love in of sorts in their final match of the Valentine’s weekend for David Clements – who made his 300th appearance for the club.

An opening goal for the visitors provided some early heartache after 66 seconds when Travis Ehrhardt hit a stunning strike into the net from the blue line.

But an equalising goal for the Blaze from Andrew Johnston was a match made in heaven, as the forward netted an equaliser on 2.04.

The Clan were not willing to go down easy though, and went back in front during a Blaze powerplay when Scott Tanski got the better of C.J Motte at 7.19.

Glasgow’s lead was extended after a prolonged scoring drought when Rasmus Bjerrum nudged the puck home at 31.55.

Johnston was on the scoresheet a second time for his 20th goal of the season, proving a crucial one too after striking at 38.27 to drag his side back into the contest.

An equaliser duly arrived when Matt Pohlkamp took full advantage of a powerplay to haul Blaze on level terms at 51.39, and with enough time to search for a winning goal.

Another powerplay followed, during which Luke Ferrara netted the decisive goal to put Coventry ahead on 54.10. David Broll then tapped into an empty net with Clan netminder Patrick Killeen displaced to seal victory with 18 seconds remaining.

In Saturday’s trip to the Viola Arena, the Devils were the benefactors of a sudden-death shoot-out to continue their title push.

An unfortunate own-goal from Justin Hache gave Cardiff a 5.15 lead, though Evan Bloodoff immediately restored parity with a powerplay goal at 7.05.

Hache atoned for his error by putting Coventry in front at 18.15, while Clements fired home his first of the season at 27.48.

Despite the two-goal cushion, the hosts hit back through Joey Haddad on 36.19, before Joey Martin’s 55.29 equaliser to send the game into overtime.

With no winning goal in the extra period, a shoot-out was required, where Sean McMonagle was the hero with two successful penalties for the Devils.

Blaze now face a reverse of their two fixtures, heading to Glasgow Clan’s Braehead Arena on Saturday night (7pm), before hosting Cardiff Devils on Sunday evening (5.30pm).

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