Vallerand double extinguishes Flames
Two early strikes and a gallant effort by the penalty-kill helped Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to an important road win at Guildford Flames’ Spectrum.
Coventry’s top scorer Marco Vallerand got his side off to a flying start at 3.28 before Garrett Ladd registered for 0-2 just seconds later (4.14).
Ladd, was then ejected from the game by referee Tom Darnell for an alleged elbowing offence, the Flames receiving a 5 minute powerplay, which also included a full 2 minutes 5-on-3 following a 2+10 Checking from behind penalty on rugged defenceman Dax Lauwers.
On the two-man advantage Flames managed their only goal of the night, despite having 9 powerplay opportunities in total. Mikael Lidhammar with a blast from the point (11.30) for a score of 1-2 following twenty minutes of play.
Receiving just 2 of their own powerplay opportunities, Captain Jordan Pietrus, assisted brilliantly by the Blaze Man of the Match Adam Courchaine made one count at 37.44.
Backed by the outstanding Kevin Nastiuk in net, Vallerand again netted on a short-handed breakaway at 52.06, ending the scoring at 1-4. It was the Canadian’s 10th of the Elite League regular season, third best overall. Meanwhile, Nastiuk with a 92.9% save-percentage and 2.01 goals-against-average leads the league’s starting goalies.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “It lost us games last weekend but tonight out penalty-kill won us one. I thought Nastiuk was great. We got a big powerplay goal to go 1-3 up and again short-handed for 1-4. Our special teams were the difference and it was a great road win for us to start the weekend.”