18th Oct, 2019

Phillips masterclass earns first Challenge Cup win for the Blaze

Ben Tyler 23rd Sep, 2019

BLAZE head coach Danny Stewart says his side will win more points than they lose, if they put in similar performances to Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Cardiff Devils.

Jamie Phillips lit up the Challenge Cup encounter, scoring all five for the hosts at the Skydome Arena, helping atone for a 6-3 defeat at Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League on Saturday.

Speaking on the game, Stewart said: “I’m happy, it’s the way we need to play every night.

“I know it’s not that simple, but if we can get as close to that as we can, most nights we’re going to be on the winning side of things.”

The Devils were the architects of their own downfall, going a man down within 11 seconds and then losing a second player six minutes into the opening period.

Coventry eventually made use of the two-man advantage to take the lead on 12.43 when Justin Hamonic hit a rasping shot into the net, one which they doubled five minutes later through Evan Bloodoff’s rebound goal on 17.54.

It was 3-0 less than three minutes into the second period, thanks to Drew Schiestel’s powerplay strike (22.48), while Andrew Johnston’s close-range effort past Ben Bowns (34.37) all but ensured victory going into the final 20 minutes of play.

Blaze found themselves a man down for the first time in the game early in the final period, which Cardiff took full advantage of to reduce the deficit through Sean Bentivoglio (45.24).

But that was as good as it got for the visitors, who were further pegged back by a late strike from Alex Forbes into an empty net on 57.50 to wrap up a first victory for the Blaze in Group B.

In Saturday’s trip to Kirkcaldy, former Blaze forward Tim Crowder found the net against his old side to give Fife the lead on 6.46, before a two-minute double salvo turned the game on its head.

Charles Corcoran (13.45) levelled things up for Blaze, with Johnny Curran (14.59) putting the visitors in front.

Crowder’s second of the night (15.56) swung momentum back into the hosts’ favour, allowing Chase Schaber (17.34) and Carlo Finucci (19.14) to put them 4-2 up going into the second period.

While Bloodoff (29.03) managed to pull a goal back, Finucci (37.44) restored the two-goal cushion, with Kyle Just (58.53) netting the only goal of the final period to finish off the Blaze.

Coventry return to Challenge Cup action on Saturday (7pm) away to Cardiff Devils, before looking to lift themselves off the bottom of the league on Sunday (5.30pm) at home to Manchester Storm.

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