THREE goals in the middle period were enough for Coventry Blaze to secure a 3-2 home victory over Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup.
Sunday’s victory followed the 2-1 defeat to Flames in the reverse fixture on Saturday night.
Coventry were without associate captain Ross Venus while the Flames chose to start former Dundee Stars’ netminder Travis Fullerton in place of Chris Carrozzi who took on the back-up duties.
Blaze goalie and man-of-the-match Miika Wiikman, who faced 31 shots over the night, was first beaten at 12.39 by Kruis Reddick, giving the away side a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Captain Kevin Morris tied the game early in the second (22.53) before Ben Lake gave Coventry a 2-1 lead shortly after (24.45).
At 25.56, Jamie Crooks took advantage of a Blaze breakdown , beating Wiikman high for a score of 2-2.
The game’s winning goal came from Kelin Ainsworth at 39.19, with the Canadian celebrating emphatically in front of a jubilant Skydome crowd.
With no scoring in the third period, Blaze celebrated a 3-2 victory and a very welcome two points after the first weekend of Challenge Cup action.
Head coach Danny Stewart said: “It was a big win for the guys as to lose that one would have left us in a hole in the cup.
“Miika came up with some big saves for us and you need that against teams like Guildford.
“To keep them to four goals over the weekend, I’m thrilled with that.”