Match report

Blaze close out exhibition games with draw

Blaze 3
Storm 3

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze prepared for their opening Elite League game of the season with a 3-3 draw at a foggy Skydome Arena against the Manchester Storm.

Through precaution Brett Robinson and Kevin Noble were missing for Blaze, whilst British netminder Renny Marr and his comparison on the Manchester side, Phillip Spanswick saw significant time between the pipes.

Bjorn Bombis continued his impressive goal scoring form putting Blaze ahead after a fine pass from Matt Marquardt at 12.46. Both sets of players were then asked for the first in a number of times to skate around the ice-pad to clear significant fog which had built up across the ice, in the main due to a rare level of humidity outisde of the building.

Following the short delay, Robin Bergman then doubled the home sides advantage just before the half way mark (27.17), finishing smartly on a breakaway opportunity after a superb steal of the puck.

With two quick-fire goals past Renny Marr, who replaced Brian Stewart in the Blaze net after period one, the Storm tied things through Paul Phillips (32.20) and Mark Heatley (33.04) to end the second period

British forward Jack Prince then put Manchester ahead early in the final period (42.37) but as has been a feature of Danny Stewart’s Blaze side through the exhibition games, this team refuse to be beaten and again Matt Marquardt tied the game at three, ripping home a shot on the powerplay (45.56).

Despite hard work from both teams to find a winner, the clocked ticked down on a 3-3 draw to end the exhibition campaign for both clubs.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "I don't think it was a very fun night but we got through it. It was out of our control and the building's control, it was no fault of anybody's, it's just something that happens.

"I'm excited the pre-season is over and for Sunday. I'm thrilled with what we did over pre-season. We've managed to use everybody and we came out with a winning record. I thought we got better as the pre-season progressed on both sides of the puck and we've found some chemistry betweens the lines and managed to avoid any long-term health concerns so I think all-in-all it's been a successful pre-season."