Flodqvist hits double on Derby Day
A double by Swede Thom Flodqvist helped the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to a 5-2 victory over the Milton Keynes Lightning at the Skydome Arena and ensured the Blaze stayed firmly in the hunt for a play-off spot.
The victory followed a 6-3 success against the same opponents in Milton Keynes on Saturday night and secured the Blaze a crucial four-point weekend.
Coventry were missing the injured Jake Hansen and Justin Hache from their line-up. Milton Keynes were without Radek Meidl and Cole Shudra whilst Brit Adam Goss was given the start in net ahead of Partick Killeen.
The Blaze got off to an almost perfect start to the game and were ahead inside four minutes through a powerplay goal by Canadian forward Dillon Lawrence, his sixth league goal of the season, at 3.44 after Owen Griffiths had been given a two-minute penalty for hooking.
Milton Keynes struggled to mount any offense in the first period, managing just two shots on Blaze netminder Matt Hackett’s goal, and Coventry doubled their lead in the final two minutes when Flodqvist found the net at 18.34.
The second frame had barely started when the Blaze extended their lead, with Man of the Match Flodqvist scoring his second of the night, and ninth league goal of the season, from a pass by Alex Nikiforuk at 21.04.
Milton Keynes got the ideal start to the third period, pulling a goal back inside the first two minutes through Robbie Baillargeon at 41.27. But two goals in 20 seconds as the period approached its midway point sealed the victory for the Blaze. Tim Crowder scored his 25th league goal of the season at 47.52, after good work by Ben Lake, to make it 4-1. Then captain Kevin Morris was on the spot to fire home his tenth league goal of the campaign after a scramble in front of the Lightning net at 48.12.
Milton Keynes grabbed another goal back through a good solo effort from Man of the Match Georgs Golovkovs at 50.20, but the Blaze held firm to keep the pressure on the Manchester Storm in the race for the final play-off spot.