Blistering Blaze start blows away Storm
A three-goal blitz in the opening five minutes set the tone as a rampant Genting Casino Coventry Blaze secured an impressive 7-2 victory over Manchester Storm at the Skydome Arena.
The Elite League’s top goal-scorer Marco Vallerand opened the scoring with just a minute gone. The Canadian making it 2-0 shortly after on a 5-on-3 powerplay (3.13).
Adam Courchaine then registered on the preceding 5-on-4 man advantage (4.47), adding to his assist on the second and extending his point-scoring streak to nine games.
On his home return from injury, Assistant Captain Ryan Dingle was credited with a 4th Blaze goal (12.42), the puck actually finding the back of the net off Manchester’s unfortunate Luke Moffatt.
Before the blistering first period was done, Gaelan Patterson was to beat Mike Clemente for a 5th time (19.43) sending a shocked Storm side to the locker-room 5-0 down.
Ryan Finnerty’s men literally came out fighting in the second period. Linden Springer picking up a 2+10 instigator penalty forcing Ben Lake to drop the gloves just 12 seconds in.
The scrap did little to change the momentum though as Vallerand secured a hattrick goal on the powerplay (24.09), the third of the night for Blaze, a marked improvement from the struggles the night before in Milton Keynes.
Manchester finally got on the board through Moffatt (26.27), before Blaze’s Finnsh trialist Patrik Moisio was given a match penalty for checking from behind. Not before fighting Shane Bakker though, the Storm forward who came looking for retribution receiving 2+10 for instigating.
As things got more and more heated on the ice, strong words were also used between the benches with Blaze coach Danny Stewart and Storm’s Finnerty exchanging pleasantries on multiple occasions.
Ciaran Long made it a 6-2 game just after the half-way mark (30.29), the final goal of the night coming early in the third period. The hard-working Ben Lake being rewarded (44.08) for 7-2, the assist going to Blaze Man of the Match Dingle who collected 3 points overall.
Storm’s frustrations were evident as the game came to a close, Dallas Ehrhardt and Dane Byers both receiving 10 minute personal misconduct penalties for abuse of official Tom Pering.
Blaze Assistant Coach Brett Robinson said, “We weren’t happy with yesterday but the way we came out tonight was unbelievable. Things got a bit chippy at the end but we came away without too many guys hurt. Getting the early powerplay goals got the guys feeling good. It was a great performance and we’re going to feel good about this one.”