Venus ends testimonial week on a high
British forward Ross Venus ended his testimonial week in style scoring twice and collecting the man-of-the-match award as the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze confirmed their place in the Elite League playoffs by defeating the Glasgow Clan 7-3 at the Skydome Arena.
The game started at a high tempo with both teams creating chances early on, before the Clan took the lead through Rasmus Bjerrum who collected the puck following a Blaze turnover and backhanded it past C.J. Motte at 7.19. The goal was awarded following a review by the referees.
The Blaze equalised on their first powerplay of the night, with Luke Ferrara scoring his 31st league goal – and 50th league point – of the season at 11.47. With the period drawing to a close, the Blaze took the lead when David Broll fired home past Patrick Killeen at the second attempt after a goalmouth scramble.
The Blaze extended their lead early in the second period in fortuitous circumstances when a shot from Charlie Corcoran bounced back off the plexiglass behind the Clan goal and somehow found its way into the net past the unfortunate Killeen at 22.50. With the period just past its midpoint the Blaze made it 4-1 when Ross Venus pulled a nice move to backhand the puck home after good work by Johnny Curran at 33.05.
The Clan pulled a goal back as the period was winding down, when Chad Rau fired home following a pass from behind the net by Clan man-of-the-match Bjerrum at 38.08. But with less than 30 seconds to go Dillon Lawrence gave restored the Blaze’s three-goal lead when he picked up the puck and fired a wrist shot over Killeen’s shoulder and into the top of the net at 39.38.
With less than two minutes gone in the third period, the Blaze made it 6-2 when Corcoran netted his second of the night after good build-up play by Evan Bloodoff and Matt Pohlkamp at 41.29. Venus then made it 7-2 when he netted his second of the night – and 14th league goal of the season – on the powerplay at 46.46, with Curran registering his third assist of the game.
With just over five minutes left the Clan gave their noisy group of travelling fans something to cheer about when Matt Beca picked up a loose puck in the Blaze zone and beat Motte to make it 7-3 at 54.25.