20th Oct, 2017

Discipline costs Blaze as Guildford land Challenge Cup clash

ICE HOCKEY: A SPIRITED fightback saw Coventry Blaze come from three goals behind to earn a point in their latest Challenge Cup tie.

Danny Stewart’s men travelled to Guildford for the first time in 13 years, and for much of the game Blaze appeared to be on the end of a relentless offensive drive from the home side.

Three goals in the opening 27 minutes from Rhett Rachinski, Tomas Nechala, and Kruise Reddick saw the home side three goals up while Blaze were locked in a disciplinary battle with several penalties conceded in the middle period.

Thing were made worse for Blaze when star forward Ben Lake received a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

After being outshot 15-4 in the second period, Danny Stewart’s second team talk appeared to do its job as Brett Robinson registered Blaze’s first goal at 44.04 – his 50th goal for the club in all competitions.

Skipper Jordan Pietrus then doubled Blaze’s tally on 47.58. But celebrations were cut short when former Blaze man Liam Stewart restored his side’s two-goal advantage minutes later.

Robinson gave Blaze another lifeline at 53.35 when scoring his second. And seconds later the game was levelled when British forward Ross Venus scored an unassisted goal at 54.02.

Any hopes of a dramatic win were dashed though when Flames’ Brett Ferguson bagged the winning goal in overtime.

Head coach Danny Stewart said: “I loved our fight back. The guys got their focus back in between periods and focused on our game plan.

“In saying that, I felt we beat ourselves tonight. We played almost the entirety of the second period short.

“We must play smarter, especially on the road. Our discipline needs to be better.

“The way this game went, it should be clear to us as a group the importance of it.”

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