COACH Danny Stewart praised the efforts of David Clements after his Blaze side suffered a fourth successive defeat on Saturday night, keeping them bottom of the Elite League table.
Clements bagged his first goal in Blaze colours as the Skydome outfit let a two goal lead slip to lose 6-3 to table toppers Cardiff Devils.
It was an all too familiar scene for Blaze fans early on as a winded Liam Stewart who blocked an initial shot couldn’t clear a loose puck, allowing Hotham to find an un-marked Asselin who put the Devils ahead after two minutes.
Blaze reacted though as skipper Jordan Pietrus bagged a goal from close range following an expert cross pass from Barry Almeida which allowed Brett Robinson to play the assist.
Ashley Tait earned his 698th Elite League point minutes later when batting home a loose puck before David Clements scored to make it three for the Blaze.
Former Coventry netminder Thomas Murdy then replaced Ben Bowns in goal – an inspired move by Devils player-coach Andrew Lord.
From there the visiting side dominated, spending a significant amount of time in the Blaze end.
Two shots which rattled off the post and a missed penalty shot were soon forgotten as the Devils posted five unanswered goals as Culligan and Haddad brought the visiting team level.
Doucet, Culligan and Lord then rounded off the game for Cardiff as they lit the lamp on three occasions in the concluding period to maintain their position at the top of the league table.
After the game, Blaze coach Danny Stewart told The Observer: “The two new boys (Almeida and TJ Syner) bring us what we’ve lacked, we just need to tidy the rest of our game up.
“They both had it tough last week but with a full week of practise ahead they’ll be a huge part of the team going forward.
“David (Clements) played well tonight, for him it’s a matter of keeping that play up for 60minutes but he’s young and learning every day – he’s come on a lot this year.
“The benefit of next week is we have two games but only have to prepare for one team.
“Manchester have plenty of offensive strengths and at times tonight I thought we were too loose and showed Cardiff a little too much respect.,
“When we play on small ice at home we have to close our men down quicker, however if the forwards play how they did tonight next week we will have success.”
Coventry face two Elite League fixtures this weekend, taking on Manchester away on Saturday before the return fixture on Sunday night (5.15pm) at the Skydome.