Blaze suffer "tough" Devils defeat
The Cardiff Devils jumped back to the top of the Elite League table with a 3-6 victory over the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze at the Skydome Arena.
Gleason Fournier (5.37) and Devils' Man of the Match Layne Ulmer on the powerplay (18.27) put the Welsh side two goals up going into the first intermission.
Cardiff's player/coach Andrew Lord, in the line-up due to the absence of Jake Morissette (injury) made it 0-3 (39.37), again on the league's best powerplay (21.39%).
With defenceman Andrew Hotham and forward Patrick Bordeleau suspended, the Devils made it 0-4 early in the third period. Joey Haddad scoring (40.27) before Sean Bentivoglio (42.00) made it five.
With a commanding lead, Tom Murdy replaced Great Britain international Ben Bowns in the Cardiff goal and Blaze too made a change in net, Renny Marr kitting up in relief of Brian Stewart, the Scot stopping all nine shots fired at him afterwards.
Following the changes between the pipes, Blaze, dressed in their special Valentine’s jerseys got on the board through arguably the goal of the night from Barry Almeida at 44.08. The strike assisted by Jim Jorgensen which was the American's 100th all-time assist in Elite League competitions.
Blaze's top point-scorer against the Devils, Brett Robinson then added his 12th point of the season against the visitors, beating Murdy for 2-5 (57.21).
Matt Marquardt just 46 seconds later put Blaze within two (58.07) but the comeback wasn't to be as Joey Martin sealed the 3-6 Cardiff victory with an empty-net goal (58.48).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “It was a tough one. Any time you give up six goals at home, it’s not a good feeling… We made too many mistakes against a good team again. I felt for a large part of the game we defended a little bit better but we don’t bend, we just break and make silly mistakes that are ending up in the back of our net.”