Blaze disappointed despite late equaliser
Despite salvaging a point with four seconds remaining in regulation time, the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were left dissapointed after giving up a two-goal lead and overtime winner in a 5-6 defeat to the Fife Flyers at the Skydome Arena.
Coventry welcomed back netminder Miika Wiikman following an extended lay-off, in place of Miroslav Kopriva who was hurt in the Cardiff victory a night previous. A professional debut was also given to Czech forward Dominik Florian, who replaced injured Canadian forward Dillon Lawrence.
The Blaze fell behind to a goal from Joe Basaraba (13.57), but a stunning strike from Man of the Match Alex Nikiforuk brought them level less than four minutes later (17.25) and saw the first period finish level at 1-1.
Norwegian defenceman Nicolai Bryhnisveen put the Blaze ahead in the second period (24.14) but the lead lasted less than a minute before Bari McKenzie (25.08) brought the Flyers level. Then two goals in less than two minutes from Ben Lake (32.43) and Kelin Ainsworth (34.18) saw the Blaze take a 4-2 lead into the second period break.
The Flyers narrowed the lead to one through Marcus Basara (46.47) and, with Blaze assistant coach Kevin Noble picking up a five plus game penalty for checking to the head, Fife got back on level terms on the extended powerplay when Basaraba scored his second of the night (53.05).
The away team then took the lead through Paul Crowder (57.02) with less than three minutes remaining in the game, the goal awarded after a video review by referee's Dean Smith and Adam Hands. With Blaze pulling Wiikman for the extra attacker, defenceman Hache leveled things up with just four seconds remaining and sent the game into overtime.
However, Danick Gauthier broke Blaze fans’ hearts just 18 seconds into the extra period with a 5-6 winner for the Flyers.