Blaze rescue late point on Friday
The Coventry Blaze battled back from two goals down to take a point with just 34 seconds remaining in regulation time, before losing 5-4 to the Manchester Storm in overtime in the Elite Series.
The Blaze welcomed back Luke Ferrara to the line-up after his return from Poland and gave Jordan Hedley the start in goal in place of Shane Owen. The Storm were without Norwegian defenceman Andreas Klavestad and had Sam Gospel backing up Sean Bonar in goal.
The Storm took an early lead when a shot from Craig Peacock bounced off the skate of Blaze defenceman Cole Shudra and into the net at 1.49. But the Blaze responded quickly and equalised less than two minutes later when a shot from Chris Pohlkamp rebounded out to Ferrara, who kept his cool to slip the puck through Bonar's legs at 3.38.
Both sides created chances before the Storm took the lead again. With Pohlkamp in the penalty box for holding, Manchester took advantage of the extra man when a shot from Dallas Ehrhardt bounced to Ciaran Long who scored his fifth goal of the series at 17.46. Both netminders were then called into action in the final minute of the period, with Hedley denying Martin Gran before Bonar pulled off a good save from Tristan Keck.
The second period started in a similar fashion to the first, with the Storm taking a 3-1 lead when Joe Hazeldine fired the puck over Hedley's shoulder and into the top of the net after a good pass from Maxime Fortier at 21.45
Coventry pulled a goal back on their first powerplay of the evening. After Keck wasn't able to convert a great chance from close in, Sam Duggan was on hand to tip in a shot from David Clements from the point at 26.42. But the Storm struck back straight away when Jacob Lundell Noer fired the puck past Hedley from close range after a goalmouth scramble at 27.04.
The Blaze had two further powerplays later in the period, and Simen Andre Edvardsen also had a good short-handed chance, but despite creating opportunities they couldn't find a way past the impressive Bonar in the Storm goal and the period finished with the Storm leading 4-2.
After killing an early penalty in the third period, the Blaze had two consecutive powerplays and pulled the score back to 4-3 when Keck found the net from a pass from Laakkonen just after the second powerplay expired at 48.03.
With the clock running down, the Blaze pulled Hedley for the extra skater and the move paid dividends when David Clements fired the puck past Bonar from the point for the equalising goal at 59.26, sending the game into overtime.
But it was the Storm who found the winning goal for the second consecutive game between the two when Scott Simmonds fired past Hedley at 62.17.