ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze extinguish Flames after being scorched by Devils in Challenge Cup - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze extinguish Flames after being scorched by Devils in Challenge Cup

Aaron Sutcliffe 17th Oct, 2023 Updated: 17th Oct, 2023   0

COVENTRY Blaze responded to a heavy 5-0 defeat away at Cardiff Devils with an emphatic 6-1 home victory against Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup.

Blaze were no match for the Devils at Vindico Arena as Brandon Alderson beat former Cardiff netminder Taran Kozun in the Blaze net at 4.41 on the powerplay.

Great Britain International Ben Bowns made a couple of important saves to keep Cardiff ahead before Riley Brandt struck early in the second period at 22.17 to double the Devils lead.

And Cardiff extended their lead through Cody Donaghey at 29.51 before Trevor Cox made it four at 44.31 and Tyler Busch’s powerplay effort at 48.29 completed the scoring.

However, Blaze provided the perfect response at the Skydome Arena, hitting Guildford for six to claim a valuable two points.

Nathan Ripley opened the scoring at 7.41 after intercepting a pass from behind the Flames net and shooting past Eamon McAdam in the Guildford goal.

The visitors equalized through Ryan Tait at 12.52 only for former Flames forward Ian McNulty to restore the home side’s lead at 13.44, blasting home on the powerplay from Brady Norrish’s feed.

Ripley grabbed his second of the game at 22.01 before Cole Donhauser scored his first professional goal at 23.11 to put Blaze in command.

And Ripley completed a first-ever professional hat-trick at 25.48 before Blaze captain Norrish scored a fifth unanswered goal on the powerplay at 38.20 to wrap up the win.

Tempers flared in the third period as Blaze’s British pair Jack Hopkins and Archie Hazeldine dropped the gloves with Flames duo Anthony Petruzzelli and Matt Alvaro respectively.

However, no further goals were scored as Coventry claimed an impressive victory.

Blaze head coach, Danny Stewart said: “I don’t think it was just a good response, but a good performance. On and off the puck we were much better, and it gives us something to build off.

“I am thrilled because we got contributions from everywhere. Ripley scoring a hat-trick, Archie and Hoppo standing up for guys and themselves, all those things contribute, and it was just a good team performance.”

Blaze are next in action at home to Belfast Giants on Saturday, October 21 with the face-off at 7pm at the Skydome.

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