ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze start season with Sheffield point before Challenge Cup success - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze start season with Sheffield point before Challenge Cup success

Coventry Editorial 28th Sep, 2023 Updated: 28th Sep, 2023   0

COVENTRY Blaze opened the 2023/24 Elite League season with a hard-fought point against Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield Arena.

Sheffield took the lead through Colton Saucerman’s powerplay effort from the blue line before Kim Tallberg levelled for Blaze on their opening powerplay chance at 32.14.

And the visitors completed the turnaround at 35.13 as JD Dudek finished former Steeler Danny Kristo’s feed.

However, Steelers equalised at 51.24 when Mitchell Balmas found the top corner with Blaze successfully killing a five-plus-game major penalty to defenceman Blake Thompson for boarding to earn a point.

Sheffield won the game in overtime as Patrick Watling scored the decisive goal past 36-save Blaze netminder Taran Kozun.

The following night, Blaze began their Challenge Cup campaign with a 4-2 victory against Cardiff Devils at the Skydome Arena.

Blaze took the lead through Ian McNulty’s goal at 9.11 after he reacted quickest to a rebound on the powerplay.

The Devils drew level six minutes later as Trevor Cox beat former teammate Kozun on a two-on-one rush.

And Cardiff went in front 84 seconds into the second period as Cole Ully provided a neat finish from Jamie Arniel’s feed.

However, a quickfire double turned the game in Coventry’s favour as Tyler Kirkup levelled at 34.14 and McNulty deflected Tallberg’s pass beyond Callum Booth at 36.11.

And Blaze completed the scoring as captain Brady Norrish finished into an empty net at 59.24.

Blaze are next in action away at Guildford Flames on Saturday, September 30 in the Challenge Cup with the face-off at 6pm at Spectrum Leisure Complex.

And Blaze begin their home Elite League campaign against Fife Flyers on Sunday, October 1 with the face-off at 5.30pm at the Skydome Arena.

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