FOUR GOALS in ten minutes ensured Coventry Blaze earned a remarkable one goal victory against rivals Nottingham for their first game of the 2016/17 season.
Robin Bergman, Matt Marquardt, Bjorn Bombis and skipper Jordan Pietrus all lit the lamp mid-way through the third period to leave Panthers coach Corey Neilson near speechless as the Blaze came from three goals down to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Panthers controlled most of the clash and were boosted by a superb hat-trick from former Blaze forward Robert Farmer.
Farmer scored what seemed to be the game-winning goal for the Panthers as they went 5-2 up with less than 18 minutes remaining.
However a remarkable turnaround saw Blaze slot four goals past Panthers netminder Dan Green in just ten minutes.
Earlier in the game, new import Matt Marquardt put the Blaze ahead after 12 minutes while even handed in front of a strong home crowd.
Goaltender Brian Stewart pulled off several crucial saves, three shots of which were fired by Panthers forward Logan Macmillan who endured a frustrating opening period.
The Panthers responded towards the end of the first period as Andy Sertich made no mistake from close range to break Stewart’s run.
A scrappy start to the second period saw Corey Neilson’s men take the lead for the first time as former Blaze man Robert Farmer batted home a bobbling puck.
Five goals were scored in as many minutes at the start of the third period as the Panthers went 5-2 up.
However persistence paid off for Danny Stewart and his Blaze side as they sent the Skydome crowd into raptures, eventually winning 6-5.
Blaze forward Matt Marquardt said post-game: “My first goal I just threw on net and the second was a broken play and I just hit the puck as hard as I could.
“I did feel tired towards the end of the third period but we’re all just getting back into things so that’s understandable.
“We battled hard tonight for every piece of possession and kept things simple towards the end.
“I’ve never been part of an exhibition game like that one – the fans were incredible and I thought the roof was going to be blown off at one point, I’m extremely happy.”