Depleted Blaze fall to defeat in Fife
A depleted Genting Casino Coventry Blaze side fell to a 5-2 defeat to the high-flying Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy.
Having lost forward Kelin Ainsworth to Denmark and defenceman Trey Lewis who was forced to retire, the Blaze were already down on import numbers when American winger Jake Hansen was hurt early in the game, playing no further part.
Returning netminder Miroslav Kopriva played the full 60 minutes making 36 saves on 40 shots, but it wasn't enough to help Coventry to victory.
The Flyers took an early lead through Carlo Finucci (3.24) with a reply coming from Blaze's British forward Luke Ferrara at 14.04.
Despite Coventry having their chances, it was the home side who proved more clinical in the second period scoring three unanswered. Evan Bloodoff (27.03), Jordan Buesa (28.21) and Ricards Birzins (33.38) all registering with Bloodoff and teammate Mike Cazzola grabbing two assists a piece in the scoring spree.
At 4-1 down, Ben Lake grabbed what turned out to be a consolation (53.08), the Canadian's 6th straight game with a goal against the Flyers.
With Kopriva pulled for the extra skater, Evan Stoflet assisted by Cazzola, his third of the night rubber stamped the victory for the home side (58.26).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "I thought we came out and played well in the first. We made a couple of mistakes in the second and they are an opportunistic team who will make you pay. I don't think we played a bad game, but losing Hansen who is a big player for us a couple of minutes in was tough. We're being tested right now, but we'll find a way through it."