ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze topple Giants before Panthers win - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze topple Giants before Panthers win

Aaron Sutcliffe 11th Dec, 2023 Updated: 14th Dec, 2023   0

COVENTRY Blaze continued their resurgence up the Elite League table following back-to-back wins against Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers respectively.

Blaze edged out Belfast 3-2 in overtime at the Skydome Arena as  Alessio Luciani scored the winning goal after Kobe Roth and Brady Norrish struck in regulation time.

And Blaze then beat Nottingham 3-1 at the Skydome the following night with Aidan Spellacy, Danny Kristo and Ian McNulty all on target.

Against Belfast, Blaze failed to convert twice on the man advantage in the first period past Giants penalty-kill and All-Star netminder Tyler Beskorowany.

And Belfast took the lead at 21.01 when Quinn Preston beat Taran Kozun one-on-one before Roth redirected Kim Tallberg’s shot into the net to tie the game at 24.03 on the powerplay.

Blaze completed the turnaround through Norrish’s rocket at 29.50 on a five-on-three powerplay before Belfast committed a bench minor for abuse of officials.

And Belfast’s indiscipline continued with Giants forward Ben Lake thrown from the game for spearing McNulty having committed two slashing offences earlier in the game.

Coventry had Luciani sent to the box late on in the third period before Belfast pulled netminder Tyler Beskorowany despite losing Bobby MacIntyre to a tripping penalty.

Giants pulled Beskorowany for a second time and levelled the match with 32 seconds left to play at 59.28 through Kohei Sato to send the game to overtime.

However, Blaze eventually secured the points at 62.51 as Luciani converted on a breakaway to secure a fourth straight win.

And Coventry then overcame Nottingham on home ice as Spellacy broke the deadlock at 35.41 with his first Elite League goal, following a goalless first period.

Blaze doubled their lead at 38.25 as Kristo struck on the powerplay before Panthers finally found a way past Coventry netminder Nolan Kent at 52.52 through Jake Ryczek.

And the home side sealed the win at 58.36 as McNulty finished into an empty net after Panthers pulled Rok Stojanovic for the extra skater.

Blaze head coach, Danny Stewart, said: “It’s two good teams that we have played this weekend, and we did a good job.

“When we needed it, Kent came up big tonight and the same as Kozun last night. Through and through our D competed and our forwards were working. Fatigue set in but all in all a good weekend.”

Blaze are next in action at home to Belfast on Wednesday, December 13 in the first leg of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals with the face-off at 7.30pm at the Skydome Arena.

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