Hedley back-stops Blaze to win vs. former club
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze picked up their second home pre-season victory, beating local rivals Milton Keynes Lightning by a score 6-5 at the Skydome Arena.
With Miika Wiikman absent through illness, British netminder Jordan Hedley got the start and eventual win for the Blaze against his former club. Josh Crane came in as back whilst two-way defenceman Ollie Lord made his first appearance.
With new MK coach still awaiting his visa approval, MK Thunder’s Lewis Clifford took charge of the away sides bench in their first game. Former Coventry academy goalie, Adam Goss got the start in net with import Patrick Kileen backing up.
In a penalty filled first period, it was Blaze who took the lead through 6’4” American Kevin Morris at 4.49. The lead was doubled on 5.52 with centreman Shawn Pauly grabbing his first for the club.
On one of a handful of opening period powerplay opportunities, Tim Wallace, formerly of Sheffield Steelers beat Hedley to get MK on the board at 6.46.
Alex Nikiforuk made it 3-1 early in the second period (21.34) before Michael Fine’s response for 3-2 just past the half-way mark (32.00).
Pauly’s second (35.42) extended Blaze’s lead back to two, the visitors though hitting back on a 5-on-3 penalty through Joonas Huovinen (38.21).
Morris’ second (40.18) gave Coventry breathing room again, but shortly after Georgs Golovkovs (42.07) and Trevor Morbeck (46.55) tied things up for the Lightning.
The winner came from an unlikely source on 46.59 with player/assistant coach Kevin Noble firing past Goss to give his side a 6-5 victory.