Blaze beaten in cup opener
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were defeated in their first competitive action of the 2021/22 Premier Sports Elite League season, losing 7-4 in the Challenge Cup at the Spectrum to the Guildford Flames.
Without import duo Ryan Penny and Joey Raats, the Blaze got off to a perfect start when Evan Bloodoff opened the scoring 1.16 into the game.
Coventry were quickly pegged back as Brett Ferguson took advantage of a Blaze penalty to score on the powerplay at 3.19.
The Flames then took the lead through Jake Bolton at 16.03, before last season's top-scorer Luke Ferrara tied things for the Blaze at 16.46.
The second period was one to forget for Coventry, as Guildford scored four unanswered through Kyle Locke (23.21), Jamal Watson (28.59), Chris Gerrie (34.31) and Levi Cable (38.01) on the powerplay.
Blaze's starting netminder, American C.J. Motte, was replaced by Brit Jordan Hedley to start the third period and he was beaten by Mac Howlett to make it 7-2 at 49.15.
With two powerplay goals of their own in the final ten minutes through Alec Marsh (52.58) and Johnny Curran (55.35), the Blaze brought the score to within three, but a great comeback wasn't to be.
The Flames skated away with a 7-4 win and two points on the board in the Challenge Cup group stage.
The two teams battle again for Challenge Cup points at the Skydome Arena in Coventry on Sunday (5.30pm).