ICE HOCKEY - Blaze end weekend with shootout win against Fife - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Blaze end weekend with shootout win against Fife

Coventry Editorial 16th Jan, 2023   0

COVENTRY Blaze ended the weekend with a 1-0 penalty shootout win against Fife Flyers having suffered defeat by the same method at Dundee Stars the previous day.

Blaze forward Jack Billings was the only player to score a penalty against Fife as Coventry netminder Paavo Holsa made five saves in the shootout at the Skydome Arena.

That came after Blaze were beaten 4-3 on penalty shots by the Stars at Dundee Ice Arena following a 3-3 draw at the end of overtime.

The results mean Blaze remain fifth in the Elite League standings.

Former Blaze netminder Shane Owen was in fine form at the Skydome as the Flyers keeper made 48 saves throughout regulation and overtime to keep the scores level.

His opposite number, Holsa, made 29 saves and crucially kept out all five of Fife’s penalty attempts which allowed Billings to grab the winner.

In Scotland, Dundee raced into a two-goal lead as Elijah Barriga struck at 18.15 and Romans Semjonovs netted shortly after at 21.58 on the powerplay.

However, defenceman Garrett Johnston cut the deficit to a single goal on the powerplay just two seconds after the halfway mark.

And Nathan Ripley levelled for Blaze at 34.54 as Billings collected his second primary assist of the game.

Coventry were made to pay for their ill-discipline in the third period as Barriga grabbed his second of the game on the powerplay at 50.03 following two quick delays of the game by Blaze.

The visitors equalised for a second time through an unlikely source as Alexander Kuqali’s speculative shot dumbfounded Stars goalie Anton Svensson and found the net with 1.12 remaining on the clock.

However, after a goalless overtime period the game went to a shootout as Johan Eriksson, Barriga and Philippe Sanche all scored for Dundee with only Billings on target for Blaze.

Blaze’s Scottish adventure began with a 5-3 win away at Glasgow Clan at Braehead Arena last week (January 12) as Johnny Curran and J.D. Dudek both scored twice whilst Mitch Cook also netted.

The short-benched home side took the lead through Gabriel Chabot at 6.13 only for Blaze to level through Dudek at 9.13 with his first of the game.

Glasgow’s Kevin Massy took advantage of some loose Coventry defending to restore Clan’s lead at 10.24 before Curran’s first time effort at 17.57 from Brady Norrish’s pass saw Blaze draw level for a second time.

And Blaze took the lead at 21.37 when Tanner Lishchynsky’s shot bounced off Cook and found the net before Curran struck with 2.03 remaining of the second period as he fired between the legs of Clan goalie John Muse.

Coventry sealed the win on the powerplay at 48.58 when Dudek scored from Peyton Frantti’s assist with the latter later involved in a scrap with Clan’s player-coach Dyson Stevenson.

Brad Kennedy scored a late consolation goal for Glasgow at 56.07 scoring as Blaze saw out the remaining minutes to secure an impressive victory.

Blaze are next in action away at Fife Flyers on Saturday, January 21 with the face-off at 7.15pm at Fife Ice Arena.

That is followed by a home game against Guildford Flames on Sunday, January 22 with the face-off at 5.30pm at the Skydome Arena.

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