Giants spoil Air the Bear game for Blaze
With a large Skydome crowd excited to throw teddy bears onto the ice following the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze's first goal of the night, Danny Stewart's side were left frustrated being blanked out by the Belfast Giants by a score of 0-3.
Without Russ Cowley (injured) and Marc Cantin (illness), Blaze were unable to capitalise on an early powerplay opportunity, their only one of the night as referee Tom Pering kept his whistle in his pocket.
Overall, the first period was a back and forth affair in front of a large Coventry crowd but without any real major scoring opportunities.
The middle twenty minutes saw a prolonged period of Blaze pressure but it was Belfast who made the breakthrough at 36.16. Chris Higgins, who had shown glimpses of brilliance all night pulling a move and beating Brian Stewart for 0-1, assisted by Mike Garside and Blair Riley.
Both teams had early chances in the third and final period, Murphy and Blaze Man of the Match Brian Stewart though standing strong.
Steve Saviano doubled the away sides lead at 47.56, Colin Shields and Jeff Mason providing the assists and a dagger through the heart of the Coventry side.
On Belfast's first and only powerplay opportunity of the night, the Irish sides Man of the Match Chris Higgins grabbed his second at 55.25, Forney the provider for 0-3.
Following a stoppage in play at 58.15, with Blaze still searching for the opening goal, Air the Bear took place, with fans throwing teddies and soft toys onto the ice in support of the British Heart Foundation.
That was the last of the action as Coventry were forced to settle for a two point weekend and 9 from the last 12 available as they head into a busy Christmas period, starting with a double header against the Sheffield Steelers, away on Wednesday and back home on Thursday (7.30pm face-off).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Anytime you don’t score at home it’s frustrating. I can’t the effort. The first period was probably a non-event, the first ten of second they put pressure on us, the second ten, we were all over them but we couldn’t get one. I think it was one of those nights where whoever got the first was probably going to see it though and win. They obviously got that second one and it was a tough up-hill battle from there. I think we possibly tired in the third, we went with five guys at the back all weekend, four for the most part last night, and then we had the long trip. We’re not making excuses but I think they had that little extra step than we had in the third.”
HC Danny Stewart
#21 Ashley Tait
#88 Robin Bergman