Battling Blaze see off Stars
Two goals each from Ross Venus and Dillon Lawrence helped the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to a 6-4 victory over the Dundee Stars in a see-saw encounter at the Skydome Arena
The Blaze welcomed back long-term absentees Drew Schiestel and David Broll to the line-up. But Broll’s return lasted just 29 seconds before the Canadian forward was given a five-plus-game penalty for boarding following a hit on Stars defenceman Reilly O’Connor which left him needing to be assisted off the ice with a nasty facial injury.
However, the Blaze responded by scoring two short-handed goals during the five-minute powerplay to take an early 2-0 lead. First, Venus found the net after a break-away with Lawrence at 1.20 and then Matt Pohlkamp doubled the lead after good work by Andrew Johnston at 5.08.
Both sides had good scoring chances as the period progressed before the Blaze made it 3-0 when Lawrence scored his first of the night at 17.12 from a pass from Luke Ferrara. But Dundee struck back almost immediately, with Kevin Dufour scoring the Stars’ first goal of the night just 17 seconds at 17.29.
The second period saw the Blaze extend their lead when Venus scored his second of the night and 12th league goal of the season, tapping home the rebound after a shot from Johnny Curran was saved, at 27.55.
However, less than two minutes later the Stars pulled one back through their man-of-the-match Anthony Beauregard on the power play at 29.38, with Blaze defenceman Justin Hache serving a two-minute penalty for tripping.
With Charlie Corcoran in the penalty box for slashing and Evan Bloodoff for high sticks, the Stars took advantage of a five-on-three powerplay opportunity to pull within one through Brett Stovin at 34.18. And less than three minutes later they were level when Dryden Dow beat CJ Motte in the Blaze goal. The second period ended with the score 4-4.
Just over two minutes into the third period the Blaze retook the lead through Lawrence, who found the net from a great feed from Venus. And Curran added a sixth for the Blaze at 47.08, with an assist from Chris Pohlkamp.
With the Stars pressing forward, Blaze man-of-the-match Lawrence was awarded a penalty shot at 57.17 after he was hooked by Jagger Dirk when through on goal. However, the Canadian forward was unable to convert the chance for what would have been a well-deserved hat-trick.