Club news

Blaze seek Cup progression in Nottingham

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze travel to Nottingham on Friday to take on the Panthers in their final Challenge Cup group game (7.30pm face-off).

Blaze were victorious in the first Cup encounter between the two, winning at the Skydome Arena by a score of 3-1 (report) back in early September.

Since, Nottingham returned to the ice in Coventry taking a 3-5 victory in the Elite League (report).

The Panthers, already qualified for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup with 10 points, currently sit second in Group B, two points behind the Sheffield Steelers who lead the way with 12 points from their total 8 games.

Following a good early season run, the Panthers have hit a recent skid, losing their last five games, forcing Head Coach Corey Neilson into making a change to his roster. Petr Kalus, who signed as injury cover in the absence of Chris Lawrence and Stephen Schultz from the line-up, has departed, with 35-yeard-old, 6’7” Slovakian defenceman Kristian Kudroc incoming and making his debut against the Blaze. Geoff Waugh is set to be missing for the Panthers too (see here).

Coventry will also hand a debut to a new player, Great Britain International Ben Davies who joined the club earlier this week following a short-spell in the ECHL to begin the season.

A Blaze win in regulation time will see them qualify for the quarter-finals of the cup, a regulation loss will see them out with a number of other scenarios (as detailed below) for an overtime victory or defeat.

Current Group B standings

Remaining fixtures

Friday November 11th: Panthers vs. Blaze at the Motorpoint Arena.

Sunday November 13th: Devils vs. Storm at Ice Arena Wales.

Scenarios

With thanks to Stuart Cole of Blaze TV, here’s the scenarios:

...Blaze win in regulation in Nottingham?

  • Blaze are through.
  • Blaze would have 7 pts. A regulation win for Devils or Storm would leave one of them on 6 points.
  • In the event of an OT/SO win for either side, giving one of the teams 7 pts, Blaze would have more regulation wins (3) than either Devils (2) or Storm (2)

...Blaze win in OT in Nottingham?

  • Blaze would have 7 points. A regulation win for either Devils or Storm would leave one of them on 6 points and Blaze would be through.
  • An OT win for Cardiff would leave Manchester on 7 pts, but Blaze would have more total wins, and would be through.
  • An OT win for Manchester would leave Cardiff on 7 pts, and Cardiff would be through with a better head-to-head record.

...Blaze lose in regulation to Nottingham?

  • Blaze are out with only 5 points.

...Blaze lose in overtime to Nottingham?

  • They will equal points with both Cardiff and Manchester.
  • In order for Blaze to progress, they would need Cardiff to win in regulation against Manchester - they would then hold the tiebreaker of having the better away record (equal reg wins, wins, head to head record and losses) over the Storm.
  • If Manchester beat Cardiff in regulation, then Blaze would be out as Cardiff hold the tiebreaker on total wins.
  • Any OT/SO result would also leave the Blaze eliminated.

Key stats

Top-scorers

Coventry Blaze

Points: Matt Marquardt 3+14 = 17 in 17

Goals: Josh Godfrey 6+6 = 12 in 18 and Jordan Pietrus 6+6 = 12 in 19

Nottingham Panthers

Goals: Chris Lawrence (injured) 8+5 = 13 in 10, David Clarke 6+2 = 8 in 14 (2nd)

Points: Brad Moran 5+10 = 15 in 17

Goalies

Coventry Blaze

Brian Stewart 18 games - .915 SVS% - 2.74 GAA

Nottingham Panthers

Miika Wiikman 13 games - .900 SVS% - 2.66 GAA

Jindrich Pacl 6 games - .900 SVS% - 3.02 GAA

Special teams

Coventry Blaze

Powerplay 17.4% (7th) Penalty-kill 85.7% (3rd)

Nottingham Panthers

Powerplay 17.5% (6th) Penalty-kill 86.9% (2nd)

Unfortunately, Nottingham do not offer a webcast service.

There will be live updates throughout the game on Twitter via @CovBlazeLive