18th Jan, 2020

Mighty Motte on form for Blaze

Ben Tyler 13th Jan, 2020

DANNY Stewart hailed the game management of his Coventry Blaze team after downing Fife Flyers 4-1 at the Skydome Arena on Saturday night.

It was Coventry’s first match back on home ice after four successive matches on the road – the last being a 3-2 overtime loss at Glasgow Clan on Friday night.

Elite League top-scorer Luke Ferrara (2), Janne Laakkonen and Ross Venus found the net in the latest victory, prompting a positive reaction from their head coach after the game.

“It was a good result,” said Stewart.

“I thought our first half was pretty slow and Fife forced [C.J] Motte into some good saves.

“The powerplay goal helped turn the tide and we came out in the second period well. I really liked our third [period display]. We managed it well and never gave them the momentum back.”

Danick Gauthier put Fife ahead in Saturday’s game at 4.08 after Blaze failed to clear following a period of pressure from the lowly visitors.

A save from Motte proved crucial to keep out Carlo Finucci, before Ferrara levelled during a powerplay down the other end at 18.24.

He then found the net again, this time during the second period with another powerplay goal on 27 minutes and 21 seconds.

Just 37 seconds later, Coventry blazed their way to a third goal and a cushioned lead approaching the half-way point of the game when Janne Laakkonen knocked in a loose puck.

A more defensive-minded approach was taken by Coventry to protect their lead, although there was still time for a goal from Venus – who tapped into an empty net on 58.33 to seal the points.

In Friday night’s game, Coventry drew first blood thanks to Dillon Lawrence’s (7.31) break-away goal, prior to an onslaught on Motte’s goal by the hosts.

Mikael Lidhammar (30.57) was the man to finally beat the seemingly-impenetrable netminder, before Justin Hamonic put the visitors back ahead (39.56) seconds before the middle period was out.

Andrew Johnston’s strike that found the net at 56.12 was crucially ruled out, a goal that would have ensured Blaze left Glasgow with two points in the bag.

So the frustrations felt when Mathieu Roy (56.41) equalised for the Clan seconds later were understandable – sending the game into overtime.

Travis Ehrhardt was the man to settle the tie, striking three minutes and 50 seconds into the additional period to win it for the hosts.

Blaze are sixth in the table and host second-bottom Dundee Stars on Saturday (7pm) before a trip to Guildford Flames, currently in fifth, on Sunday (6pm).

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