Blaze struck by Lightning in cup opener
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze's Challenge Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start falling 4-7 to the Milton Keynes Lightning on home ice.
Luke Ferrara gave Blaze an early lead (1.52) but that was shortly forgotten as Kevin King registered MK's first of four in the opening period at 6.42.
Gui Doucet (8.10), Ludwig Karlsson (10.58) and hat-trick hero Denny Kearney (17.51) were the other scorers to give the away side a commanding lead to end 20 minutes.
Just after the half-way mark, Kearney who was a League and Challenge Cup winner with the Cardiff Devils last season compounded Blaze's misery adding his second and MK's fifth on 31.31.
A better third period for Coventry began with Captain Jordan Pietrus making it 2-5 (44.32) following excellent work by Adam Courchaine carrying the puck and driving to net in order to create the opportunity.
The Lighting though hit straight back, Kearney completing his hat-trick on 45.23 for 2-6 before Marco Vallerand hit Blaze's third on the powerplay (48.53).
The Coventry forward was then involved in a couple of altercations with MK's tough defenceman Matt Nickerson, the pair laying hits on each other before a war of words ensued.
British forward Lewis Hook, who was previously on a two-way deal with Blaze made it seven for Lightning at 56.24, assisted by former Playoff Champion with Coventry James Griffin.
As the clock ticked down to end the game, whilst 4-on-4, Blaze Player/Assistant Coach Brett Robinson, who missed the game in Fife the night before, ended the scoring (58.53) for a final score of 4-7.
Head Coach Danny Stewart
#58 David Clements
#41 Adam Courchaine