Stewart proud of battling Blaze
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart said he was "proud" of his short-benched side after earning a home point in a 4-5 overtime defeat to the Belfast Giants.
Brendan Connolly on the powerplay opened the scoring (3.15) before Coventry's top scorer Marco Vallerand neatly slotted home a penalty shot for 1-1 (8.36). It was the Canadian's 14th in 18 Elite League games, currently second best overall.
Offensive minded defenceman Gaelan Patterson made it 2-1 (9.56) but the Giants were to hit back before the first period interval through Jonathan Ferland (14.50). The assist going to Belfast's Man of the Match Spiro Goulakos, his second of the night.
Coventry's player/Assistant Coach Brett Robinson was quick to make it 3-2 in the middle period (20.36), his first of two in a Man of the Match performance.
A double from John Kurtz (32.52 & 35.15), both assisted by Belfast Captain Blair Riley put the away side ahead for the first time, each taking fortuitous bounces to beat Kevin Nastiuk.
With American Ryan Dingle side-lined through injury, Blaze were to become further short-benched as defenceman Gustav Ahnelov left the game. Captain Jordan Pietrus and Kevin Noble also missing time before returning.
On the powerplay, a rebounded shot from Adam Courchaine was finished by Man of the Match Brett Robinson, his second for 4-4 (48.37).
That was all the scoring within the 60 minutes of regulation time, each team taking a point as the game headed to overtime.
The extra period of 3-on-3 didn't last long. Brendan Connolly grabbing his second on a 2-on-1 breakaway to seal a 2nd point for the visitors.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “I’m proud of these guys tonight. We endured a lot during the game missing and losing guys, but I thought we battled and competed as good as we have all year. Were we perfect? Absolutely not. Did we make a couple of mistakes? Yes. But, we found a way in the third with that big powerplay goal to tie it up and get a point. It was unfortunate that we had a guy fall in OT, and when it’s 3-on-3, they break 2-on-1 and score, but those things happen. Considering the circumstances, it was a big point for us.”