Shoot-out hero Bergman seals 4 point weekend
Swedish forward Robin Bergman was the hero, scoring two penalty-shots as Genting Casino Coventry Blaze secured a four-point weekend with a 3-2 shoot-out victory over the Nottingham Panthers on home ice.
The night began with a big Coventry welcome for Sir Rod Stewart and his family, visiting to watch his son, and Blaze Player of the Month for December, Liam Stewart ice at the Skydome Arena.
Stewart was on the ice, driving to the net as Blaze opened the scoring through British forward Ashley Tait with a quick wrist shot at 9.39 (1-0).
It was 2-0 at 23.25, Ben Davies from behind the goal finding Garret Klotz open who beat Miika Wiikman from close-range, the tough guys 5th of the Elite League season.
Just 10 seconds later, the Panthers grabbed their first of the night. Former Blaze forward Robert Farmer finishing for 2-1 at 23.35.
On the powerplay, Nottingham tied the game on 27.19. Another former Coventry player, Chris Lawrence registering his 11th of the season for 2-2.
The final 30 minutes flew by as referee Tom Pering allowed the game to flow with both teams having chances to win in regulation time.
For the second night running, Blaze went into 3-on-3 overtime but with no scoring, the game came down to the drama of penalty-shots.
Former NHLer Jason Williams scoring first for Nottingham, the reply coming from Bergman in the second round of shots.
The game was eventually won in the fifth round of shots, in sudden-death. Bergman beating Wiikman for a second time, before Chris Lawrence who earlier scored in the game was denied by Blaze Man of the Match Brian Stewart.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “When we play our game and limit our mistakes we can beat anybody. It was great to see from these guys. Our performances have been good; the difference is believing that we could win and close games out. Last night, Cardiff came back to 3-3 and put us under pressure, and just a couple of weeks ago we would probably have let that slip away but we found a way. Tonight, we readied the ship when they tied the game and anything can happen in the shoot-out but two great finishes and goaltending by Stewy won us the game.”