Blaze deliver character win over Stars
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze bounced back from a difficult recent period with a character 4-1 win over the Dundee Stars at the Skydome Arena in the Elite League.
Defenceman Marc Cantin again missed out for Coventry, whilst former Blaze Head Coach Marc LeFebvre and popular players Craig Cescon and Cale Tanaka made returns to the Midlands in their new Dundee uniforms.
The game started with Blaze defenceman Kevin Noble delivering a crunching open ice hit just past the 4-minute mark, receiving two minutes for charging but with it getting his teammates and the home crowd energised early on.
Three of nine total powerplays followed for Blaze, allowing them to get on the front foot. At 18.35, after strong work behind the net by Matt Marquardt and a smart pass by Captain Jordan Pietrus, Brett Robinson finally found a way past Joe Fallon in the Dundee goal for a 1-0 home lead to end the first period.
Dundee’s top point scorer Vinny Scarsella tied the game just 45 seconds into the second period beating Brian Stewart in the Blaze net one-on-one (20.45). On the 25th minute mark, the Skydome crowd rose to their feet in a resounding show of support for club legend Adam Calder’s ‘Support 25’ fight against cancer.
Shortly after, Blaze Man of the Match Matt Marquardt, with a goal and two assists, finished a delightful powerplay move (26.53) before Robin Bergman, to the Swedes obvious relief scored his first of the season, again on the man advantage (27.56) for a 3-1 Coventry lead.
In the final period, Blaze’s tough guy Garrett Klotz rifled home a 4th goal (53.54), his first of the year also, sending the Skydome crowd into raptures.
British forward Matt Selby then dropped the gloves with Italian international Tommasa Traversa with 6.30 remaining in the game, each receiving 5 minutes for fighting.
As the minutes ticked down, the Blaze faithful again rose to their feet to show their appreciation for a big home win which halted the six game losing streak.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “It’s a relief for myself and the guys. We had put in some good performances but just found ways to lose games. Last night wasn’t one of our best performances, we got beat by the better team on the night but it was good to see these guys, after a long bus trip, show a lot of character and play a good game... I think it could easily have been 5,6 or 7. We kept things simple, we simplified our game and had pucks around their net all night and that’s the way we are going to have success.”