Another four-point weekend in playoff pursuit
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze picked up another victory and four-point weekend in their pursuit of an Elite League playoff spot.
Goals from Luke Ferrara, Jordan Pietrus and Adam Courchaine helped Blaze to a 1-3 win at the Spectrum against the Guildford Flames. The result, meaning Blaze remain a point behind the playoff spot holding Braehead Clan with two games remaining and the Manchester Storm now crowned Patton Conference winners.
With Chris Carrozzi starting in goal for the Flames and Kevin Nastiuk at the other end, both goalies were well tested in the first period. Neither team however were able to find a breakthrough as the opening twenty ended goalless.
The first strike of the game came from British forward Luke Ferrara, firing home a trademark shot from the wing for 0-1 unassisted at 23.41.
Captain Jordan Pietrus, who is Coventry's top goal and point scorer against the Flames this season (9+8=17) made it 0-2 (37.22), Blaze Man of the Match Brett Robinson getting the helper, his first of two on the night.
After killing off a number of penalties in the second half of the game, Adam Courchaine with his third goal of the weekend made it 0-3 in the third period (50.25). Kevin Phillips, who the week before had fought Blaze's injured top-goal scorer Marco Vallerand got a consolation for the Flames whilst short-handed (54.43) for a final score of 1-3.
In the final weekend of the Elite League regular season, Coventry (9th with 53 points) travel to Manchester on Saturday before entertaining Guildford again at the Skydome Arena on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Braehead Clan (8th with 54 points) face Nottingham Panthers in Glasgow on Friday night, ending their league campaign against Guildford Flames away on Sunday.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “We weren’t pretty tonight but the guys battled hard. Nasti made some huge saves in the first and our PK was immense. We looked tired but found a way and kept ourselves in the race.”