20th Sep, 2018

Pietrus brace guides Blaze to timely four-point-weekend

ICE HOCKEY: A BRACE from Jordan Pietrus helped Coventry Blaze secure a timely four-point-weekend against Scottish rivals Braehead Clan and Edinburgh Capitals.

The Blaze skipper netted twice as Danny Stewart’s men defeated Edinburgh Capitals 4-2 at Murrayfield on Sunday night, just 24-hours after downing Braehead Clan on home ice in overtime.

Heavy snow caused a delay to Sunday’s game as the Blaze coach arrived shortly after the scheduled 6pm face-off time.

Missing Ryan Dingle, Gustav Ahnelov, Brett Robinson and Danick Paquette, Blaze entered Sunday’s game shortbenched.

It got worse when Juris Upitis put the Capitals ahead at 2.59.

The home side’s lead was doubled when Nikita Kolesnikov found the back of the net at 3.58, though netminder Kevin Nastiuk appeared convinced the puck had entered the net via the side-netting.

After consultation, the goal was awarded – to the displeasure of Coventry coach Danny Stewart.

Blaze enjoyed better fortunes for the remainder of the period, firing 16 shots of Pavel Shegalo’s net.

And they were rewarded when Ben Lake lit the lamp of the powerplay with 17 seconds left in the period.

The visitors started the second as they ended the first, piling the pressure on Shegalo’s net.

It took 11 minutes for the next breakthrough to come when Pietrus shot through the legs of Capitals’ netminder to level the game at 31.08.

Despite Coventry being on top, Nastiuk was forced to pull off two excellent stops as the game remained tied at 2-2 by the end of the second period.

Man of the match Jordan Pietrus completed the comeback when scoring at 48.13 – Patrik Moisio registered his first point for the club with the assist.

Blaze wrapped up the game at 48.43 when Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored for the eighth game on the spin to put Blaze two ahead.

Temper flared moments later when Nikita Kolesnikovs and Kevin Noble clashed following a big hit by the Blaze defenceman.

Kolesnikovs was accessed a 2+2 roughing and ten-minute misconduct penalty. Noble received two minutes for roughing while Nastiuk also received two minutes for getting involved to split the two apart.

Blaze boss Danny Stewart said: “It was a hell of a job from these guys this weekend.

“We battled through very tough circumstances and found a way to get a crucial four points.

“I’d also like to say a specific thank you to our fans who managed to make their way up here to support us. It’s appreciated by everyone.”

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