7th Dec, 2016

Russell Cowley believes Coventry Blaze have found their identity again

Steve Carpenter 1st Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

RUSSELL Cowley believes Coventry Blaze have rediscovered their identity after beating Cardiff Devils 4-1 at the Skydome on Sunday.

The weekend has started off in heartbreaking fashion for Blaze after they suffered a last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield Arena in the Elite League.

Colton Fretter netted the game-winning goal with just 34 seconds left to deny Chuck Weber’s side a hard-earned point with overtime looming on Friday evening.

But Cowley and his team mates bounced back in style by defeating second-placed Cardiff Devils on Sunday.

“In these last two games we have got back to our identity,” said Cowley said. “On Friday I thought we were unlucky not to come out with two points. But we need to bring that every night.

“We have put our work boots on. It has been a very similar environment to last year when we struggled at the start before things came together.

“We have been working hard but we have not been working smart. We are working for each other and now we need to try and string a few wins together.”

Goals from Neil Trimm, Drew Fisher and Carl Lauzon put Blaze 3-0 up against Cardiff before Joey Haddad pulled a goal back.

Cowley then claimed his 100th Elite League goal with an empty-net marker with 43 seconds remaining.

It was also his 110th in all EIHL competitions for Blaze which saw him move above Luke Fulghum into fourth place in the all-time club scorers list.

“As you get older you appreciate that things don’t come along very often, like winning the play-off trophy last year.

“I have played the majority of the last four seasons on the back end but it is always nice to get a milestone – in fact I had forgotten all about it!”

Coach Weber was full of praise for Cowley, with the 32-year-old in his 14th season with the club.

He added: “Russell is the ultimate professional and the epitome of the word sacrifice. He does anything and everything for this organisation.

“That is why he has always had a spot on the team and will always have a spot on the team until the day he decides he won’t be here any more.”