EVAN BLOODOFF’s shootout goal secured a thrilling 4-3 win for the Coventry Blaze against Guildford Flames at the Skydome Arena.
Bloodoff scored with the final shot after Blaze goaltender CJ Motte had saved all five of Guildford’s attempts.
The result leaves Coventry in eighth-place in the Elite League table, outside of the bottom two on points percentage.
Blaze handed a debut to Canadian forward Mitch Cook who made an immediate impression, laying a big hit on his first shift of the night.
Despite Coventry’s strong start, Guildford took the lead at 10.02 on the powerplay through Ian Watters.
However, the home side equalised at 14.16 when captain Justin Hamonic finally managed to beat Flames goalie Kevin Lindskoug with a long-range effort.
Blaze turned the game around in the second period when Janne Laakkonen pounced on a rebound at 24.10 to score his second goal in as many games.
Debutant Cook was called for netminder interference at 28.53 and the Flames quickly capitalised when Ian McNulty struck on the powerplay at 30.35.
The Canadian made amends when he assisted Nate Halbert to score at 33.28 after hustling the puck back from behind the Flames’ net.
However, Guildford equalised again when Levi Cable converted Brett Ferguson’s smart pass at 38.56.
And the Blaze, roared on by a rowdy home crowd, nearly found a late winner when Ross Venus’s shot hit the post and bounced off the back of Lindskoug but did not find the net.
An exciting period of overtime followed with both teams coming close to finding a winner but it was not to be as the game headed to a shootout.
Motte stopped all five of the Flames’ shots and it was left to Bloodoff to convert the final shot to win the game for the Blaze.
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