Johnston double helps Blaze overcome Storm
A double and man-of-the match performance from Canadian Andrew Johnston helped the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to a 4-7 victory in their final pre-season game against Manchester Storm in Altrincham on Wednesday night.
The Blaze travelled to the Storm shelter without defenceman Drew Schiestel (precautionary) but were boosted by the return of forward Janne Laakkonen who missed the past weekend’s games vs. Guildford Flames.
Brit Jordan Hedley got the start in net for Coventry whilst Manchester began with their regular number one Matt Ginn.
Dillon Lawrence was first to find the back of the net, beating Ginn with a quick shot near the face-off dot for 0-1 at 6.09.
Tyson Fawcett tied the game up at 15.40 before Great Britain International Luke Ferrara (17.10) and Johnston’s first (18.00) ended the first period 1-3.
Manchester came out the stronger in the second and through Layne Ulmer (30.22) and Zach Sullivan (38.12) they tied the game 3-3.
At 41.30 Johnston regained the Blaze lead and then Alex Forbes took advantage of a Storm lapse whilst shorthanded to make it 3-5 (45.07).
There was still plenty more scoring to come and with just over ten minutes remaining, Manchester’s Tommy Hughesman fired past Hedley on the powerplay for 4-5 (49.50).
After great work by Blaze’s Ross Venus, former Toronto Maple Leaf David Broll took advantage for 4-6 (55.31).
Broll then turned provider for Venus to wrap-up the game 4-7 (59.34).
The Elite League season begins for real for Coventry this weekend with a double header against Sheffield Steelers.
On Saturday it’s a 7pm face-off at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield before the two clash at the Skydome Arena on Sunday with a 5.30pm face-off.