Blaze suffer cup setback in Milton Keynes
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were dealt a setback in their Challenge Cup qualification hopes with a 5-1 defeat on the road to Milton Keynes Lightning.
Despite outshooting their opponents 46-34 overall and 22-10 in the first period, Blaze found themselves behind when Quin Pompi opened the scoring at 5.19, firing over the glove of Kevin Nastiuk in the Coventry net.
On a short-handed breakaway Captain Jordan Pietrus earnt a penalty shot (10.27) stopped by the outstanding MK Man of the Match Miika Wiikman.
Ben Foster gave the home side a 2-0 advantage (17.07) before Blaze's Danick Paquette and MK's Matt Nickerson dropped the gloves, each receiving 5 minutes in the penalty box for fighting at 18.41.
Offensive blue-liner Paul Phillips made it 3-0 (25.31) before Lightning's Carl Hudson, a previous cup winner with Cardiff Devils was handed a 2+10 penalty for checking to the head of Coventry's Marco Vallerand.
Shortly after, all hell broke loose again as MK's bearded Nickerson picked up a 5+game misconduct penalty for checking from behind on Blaze's David Clements. The British defenceman then being adjudged 5 minutes for fighting with Lightning's Paul Phillips on the same play (34.57).
On the resulting 5 minute powerplay, Blaze found their only goal of the night through Luke Ferrara, the assists going to Ben Lake and Brett Robinson for 3-1 (38.50).
In contrast to the previous week where Coventry were able to come from behind in Guildford to grab a cup point, Milton Keynes weren't to be denied a regulation victory on home ice. Gui Doucet making it 4-1 (46.01) before the Challenge Cup's top-scorer Denny Kearney made it 5-1 (52.06) with his sixth of the campaign so far.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "It was a frustrating night as I actually felt we played pretty well. We put 46 shots on their goalie and had many chances to put pucks away. Unfortunately we didn’t and eventually the game got away from us."