15th Nov, 2018

Coventry Blaze suffer late shock on Halloween night

COVENTRY Blaze suffered a late shock on Halloween night as the Sheffield Steelers scored with just ten seconds remaining to tie the game, going on to win in overtime through British defenceman Ben O’Connor.

Again, without Miika Wiikman, Shawn Pauly and Ross Venus, Blaze got ahead in the game through the in-form Ben Lake, putting home a rebound from a Kelin Ainsworth shot at 9.20.

Justin Buzzeo tied the scoring shortly after one-on-one with Miroslav Kopriva on 10.25.

With a highlight real goal on 21.56, birthday boy Nicolai Bryhnisveen put Coventry back ahead but a huge shot from Sheffield’s former NHL defenceman Aaron Johnson tied things up again on the powerplay (24.21).

Blaze, who have suffered scoring troubles at certain points so far this season then took a foothold in the game with two opportunistic strikes from Kelin Ainsworth (24.56) and Jake Hansen (38.34) to give them a 4-2 lead going into the third period.

With legs tiring and the momentum swung from Johnson’s second goal for the Steelers (42.19), the Blaze were hanging on.

With ten seconds to go, assistant coach Kevin Noble in the penalty box for interference and Jackson Whistle pulled from his goal, Sheffield found their equaliser six-on-four through their assistant coach Mark Matheson (59.50).

Feeling hard done by after an alleged trip went un-called in the lead up to the Sheffield equaliser, Coventry had to dust themselves down and go again three-on-three in overtime.

It was however to be a ‘spooktacular’ ending, not for the Blaze, but Steelers’ Ben O’Connor who last week returned to the club from Sweden, the Brit breaking away, rounding a diving Kopriva and scoring for a 5-4 home victory.

Head coach Danny Stewart said: “We put ourselves in a good position to win a hockey game.

“They had pulled their goalie and we had clear possession of the puck, our guys feet get taken out from him, that puck gets out and we kill the game, instead it’s kept in (the zone) and they score.

“It was a big momentum shift and change of pace, so I’m frustrated right now, but we have to put it past us and move on as we have a big weekend coming up.”

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