Lake completes hat-trick in Blaze win
A hat-trick and Man of the Match performance from Ben Lake helped the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to a 5-4 pre-season victory over the Milton Keynes Lightning.
Blaze began the game without forward Danick Paquette, but had Czech defenceman Vojtech Kloz making his home debut and Peterborough pair Nathan Salem and Scott Robson in the line-up.
Milton Keynes were forced into an early goalie change with Polish International Przemysla Odrobny leaving the game after falling awkwardly, replaced by Brit Jordan Hedley at just 2.25.
Blaze player/Assistant Coach Brett Robinson opened the scoring at 14.28, with Denny Kearney hitting straight back for the visitors (15.32).
Blaze Man of the Match Ben Lake was to then score the first of his three, making it 2-1 at 25.13, assisted by Edgars Bebris who registered three helpers on the night.
33.41 and with Lake being hauled down one-on-one, the Blaze forward picked himself up to beat Hedley on the awarded penalty-shot for 3-1.
Milton Keynes wouldn't go away though, their Man of the Match Kyle Essery scoring on 34.31 to end the second period 3-2.
The start of the third saw Brython Preece replace Kevin Nastiuk in the Blaze net before Swedish defenceman Gustav Ahnelöv extended the score to 4-2. The former SHLer celebrating his first goal for the club at 47.11 from a blue-line shot through traffic.
Ahnelöv's countryman on the opposite bench, Ludwig Karlsson made it 4-3 on the next shift (47.24) before Lake's hat-trick goal put Blaze two ahead again on 51.16.
Pete Russell's side showed similar resilience to Danny Stewart's men the night before, coming back from behind again, Essery scoring his second on 56.12 for 5-4.
The game would have been tied in the dying seconds but for a spectacular stop from the impressive Preece in the Blaze net, denying Carl Hudson from point blank range to win the game 5-4.