HEAD coach Danny Stewart said the 9-2 hammering of league leaders Glasgow Clan was a just reward for the efforts of his Coventry Blaze team.
The Blaze were rampant in the Elite Ice Hockey League clash, with Luke Ferrara scoring a hat-trick and Matt Pohlkamp netting twice in front of the home faithful at the Skydome Arena.
Stewart commended the desire and commitment of his players on the night, and said: “I’m delighted with the result and performance.
“I think we came out right from the opening face-off and we were skating and winning puck battles, and that carried on throughout.
“I’m glad to see the guys rewarded, we had guys we wanted more out of tonight and we certainly got it.”
Dillon Lawrence started the rout when giving Coventry a deserved lead at 14.14 on the powerplay, before Ferrara doubled the advantage at 16.57.
Justin Hache (19:58) fired home through a crowd of players with just two seconds remaining in the opening 20 to increase the lead further, with the one-way traffic continuing in the second period.
Matt Pohlkamp (22.31 and 31.54) scored either side of Charles Corcoran’s (25.38) silky solo goal to rub more salt in the Clan’s wound – who eventually made an impact on the scoreboard through winger Nolan LaPorte (35.10).
Two successive strikes from Ferrara, first at the end of the second period at 36.00 followed by a goal early in the third at 41.54, then wrapped up his hat-trick.
The Glasgow visitors did pull a goal back through Linden Springer (46.03), but the Blaze had the last laugh when David Broll (58.32) completed the scoring.
It completed a fine weekend for the club, following a remarkable comeback from 4-1 down to take a point in a 4-4 draw with Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup.
Although the Flames won the penalty shoot-out 3-1, the point gives Blaze home advantage for their next game in the competition against Manchester Storm, with the winner earning a place in the quarter-finals.
Kruise Reddick (12.27) finished expertly to give the visitors the lead, though Pohlkamp (15.00) quickly snuffed out the strike to restore parity.
Momentum drastically swung in Guildford’s favour when Calle Ackered (34.32) and Owen Griffiths (38.17) scored the only goals of the second period, followed by Ben Davies’ (43.45) strike early in the third.
But Coventry did not lose hope and had a lifeline when Bloodoff drove through on goal to finish at 45.59, followed by a penalty save from Jamie Phillips to put the hosts back in contention.
Alex Forbes then made a memorable impact with his 100th goal for the club when reducing the deficit to one at 49.41, with Drew Schiestel levelling up the scores with a powerful strike during a powerplay at 56.55.
With no goals scored in overtime, Guildford came out on top in the shoot-out after Ackered, Ian Watters and TJ Foster all put their shots away, while Corcoran was the only player successful in reply for the Blaze.
Coventry sit fifth in the league and visit Sheffield Steelers on Saturday (7pm) before hosting Belfast Giants on Sunday (5.30pm).