Mistakes costly for Blaze against table toppers
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart was left frustrated, pointing to defensive mistakes being costly as his short-benched side fell 5-7 to the Elite League leading Cardiff Devils at the Skydome Arena.
Blaze without Kevin Noble, Jim Jorgensen and Josh Godfrey from their defence fell behind early. Layne Ulmer, who scored twice on his last visit to the Skydome, registering his first of three on the powerplay at 1.12.
Blaze though, backed by the large Skydome crowd (2,631) hit back quickly. Barry Almeida finding cousin T.J Syner wide open in front of net for 1-1 at 2.42.
British forward Ashley Tait gave the home side a 2-1 lead 34 seconds later (3.16) before Player/Coach of the Devils, Andrew Lord deflected a cross-ice pass into the net for 2-2 (5.15). Lord taking the ice, with Chris Culligan out of the Cardiff line-up.
Early in the second, the Devils again took the lead, last season’s Elite League MVP Joey Martin scoring for 2-3 (21.01).
Ulmer then registered his second powerplay goal of the night at 26.43, tapping home for 2-4.
Cardiff's Man of the Match, Ulmer registered his hatrick at 29.07, finishing well from a back-hand pass by Matt Myers (2-5).
At 32.10, Martin was thrown out of the game by referee Stefan Hogarth for checking to the head, Ross Venus responding sitting for two minutes.
Shawn Boutin, who later picked up the Coventry Man of the Match, then registered his first goal of the Elite League season, on the powerplay at 35.14 (3-5).
With Jake Morissette in the penalty box and Scott Hotham taking a ten-minute abuse of official penalty, Blaze found a fourth goal. Marc Cantin firing past Ben Bowns 5-on-3 (4-5).
Morissette extended the away sides lead (4-6) on 45 minutes, before Coventry's top point scorer against the Devils, Brett Robinson netted with a second left on a 5-on-3 at 47.38 (5-6). It was Blaze’s third powerplay from five opportunities, the Devils registering two from seven.
There was to be no come-back though as Scott Hotham completed victory for the Elite League table toppers at 56.44 for a final score of 5-7.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “It’s a tough one for me, because I don’t want to sit here and take away blame from ourselves (being three defencemen down) because we were soft defensively tonight and we made to many errors. Yes, we played relentless and we kept coming back, we scored goals which is great to see again but we made stupid mistakes on the back-end, we were too soft and we just didn’t play smart and it cost us a hockey game.”