8th Dec, 2016

Star netminder Owen shuts out Blaze as Stewart concludes forwards must start scoring

Shaun Reynolds 10th Oct, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

HEAD COACH Danny Stewart has stated his Coventry Blaze side must prepare to get ‘ugly and dirty’ around the net if they are to taste success in this year’s Elite League.

His comments come after the Blaze were denied a much-needed four-point-weekend when star Fife netminder Shane Owen recorded a faultless 41 shot shut-out, allowing the Flyers to claim a gutsy 1-0 victory.

Frustratingly, Blaze’s loss to Fife came just 24 hours after the Skydome outfit recorded a sensational 3-2 win on the road in Cardiff – which was the club’s first competitive win on the road this season.

An overtime winner from Matt Marquardt earned the Blaze two crucial Elite League points – though the taste of success was quick to disappear.

Fife opened their account just five minutes into Sunday’s game as Philippe Paquet fired a well-worked puck past the scrambling Brian Stewart to put the visitors ahead while on the powerplay.

After recording a 7-0 win over Manchester on Saturday night, Fife continued their inspired defensive run of form with a further clean-sheet.

The closest Blaze came to scoring was when Bjorn Bombis’ goal was washed off just seconds from the final buzzer.

Post game, Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said: “Tonight was very disappointing, the only thing we didn’t do was put the puck in the net.

“We maybe could’ve put more bodies in front of the netminder to distract his view but in general we had enough looks.

“There are guys in the team who are there to score goals, and right now they are just not doing that.

“Right now we’re not getting to them second pucks – the boys are putting shots on goal but by time we get to the re-bound the puck has been cleared.”

Stewart was quick to quash any talks of complacency in the Blaze camp, though did admit – at times – the Blaze aren’t hungry enough for goals.

Stewart added: “Cardiff was a battle but that’s not an excuse for tonight’s performance.

“We had a mix-up on our penalty-kill, Fife took full advantage and they held on – full credit to them they played smart and Shane (Owen) showed up.

“I’m happy with how the boys performed but it’s as simple as if you don’t score goals you’re not going to win hockey games.”