Narrow cup defeat to open for Blaze
A John Dunbar double meant the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze began their Challenge Cup campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat to the Guildford Flames at the Spectrum.
Following the birth of his second daughter, Head Coach Danny Stewart returned to lead the Coventry bench, Associate Captain Ross Venus missing out though through injury.
On 12.59 with British defenceman David Clements sitting a 2+10 checking to the head penalty, John Dunbar who led the Elite League for points in the last campaign opened the scoring.
Also on the powerplay, Blaze hit back before the opening period was complete through Kelin Ainsworth. The Canadian scoring his first for the club tipping home a Justin Hache shot.
Chances came and went for both sides until the 45.14 mark when Dunbar again registered on the man advantage for a score of 2-1.
Try as they might Blaze couldn’t find a second way past the excellent Chris Carrozzi in the Flames goal, who the same as Wiikman at the other end faced a total of 31 shots.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "We played a good hockey game against a very good team, in a tough place to play. I thought we had the better chances and defended well most of the night. Ultimately one too many penalty kills caught up to us, but I thought we played well in all areas. We had enough good chances to win that game and will just have to be more clinical tomorrow!"