12th Dec, 2019

Stewart dismayed after losses dim the Blaze

Ben Tyler 26th Nov, 2019

DANNY Stewart was not one to mince his words after seeing his Coventry Blaze team succumb to two crushing defeats in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

An 8-3 defeat in front of the Blaze faithful to Sheffield Steelers on Sunday followed a 7-3 loss away to Dundee Stars on Saturday night, meaning Coventry sink to fifth in the standings.

Speaking after the final match of the weekend, head coach Stewart was left ruing missed opportunities by his team at the Skydome Arena.

“It wasn’t very good. I can’t really repeat what I said in the dressing room, but it’s not good enough,” he said.

“We made big mistakes and it cost us. We did create some chances, which is a positive, but other than that we stunk the place out.”

Charles Corcoran initially put Blaze in front at 4.20 against the visitors from South Yorkshire, before his strike was cancelled out by John Armstrong from a counter attack at 6.45.

Then, despite the Steelers being a man light on the rink, a go-ahead goal followed, courtesy of Jonathan Phillips (9.19) to put the visitors in front.

A powerplay in favour of Sheffield followed, which they took advantage of to gain a two-goal cushion at 13.09 through Nikolia Lemtyugov.

The night continued to get worse for the hosts after Tanner Eberle’s strike at 16.13, causing Stewart to pull Jamie Phillips from the net and replace him with Jordan Hedley for the second night running.

Sheffield showed no signs of slowing up and continued to run riot, as Marek Troncinsky his first of the night at 21.48 to start the second period in style.

Corcoran was yet again the man that Coventry looked to for inspiration, which he provided when netting his second at 30.55 to reduce the arrears.

Eric Meland (48.12) and Brendan Connolly (50.12) responded with two more goals for the visitors in the final period as the Blaze nightmare intensified, while Alex Forbes (50.31) pulled another goal back in vain.

Troncinsky wrapped up the scoring at 58.36 to condemn the hosts to a second horror show of the weekend.

In Saturday night’s defeat, Coventry responded from two goals down to draw level through Luke Ferrara (13.25) and Dillon Lawrence (22.00), after Jordan Cownie (1.07 and 3.40) had given Dundee a swift lead.

But with a powerplay in their favour, the Stars went back in front before the half-way mark at 29.52, courtesy of Justin Maylan.

Blaze showed plenty of fight and were rewarded by Andrew Johnston’s (33.26) leveller, though Cownie (33.43), Kevin Dufour (35.13) and Anthony Beauregard (40.59) quickly doused any hopes of an away victory with three unanswered goals.

Eglis Kalns (49.06) then fired home a superb first-time strike to wrap up the 7-3 win.

Coventry look to bounce back with a visit to Guildford Flames on Saturday (6pm) and a home fixture with Manchester Storm on Sunday (5.30pm).

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