Match report

Blaze take point from Nottingham

Panthers 6
Blaze 5

Following a 5-5 tie in regulation time, the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze picked up a point in what turned out to be a penalty-shots loss to the Nottingham Panthers at the Motorpoint Arena.

Coventry were unchanged from the side that beat Dundee Stars 4-1 the previous night, again without British forward Russ Cowley, whilst Hull Pirates' Ashley Smith backed up Brian Stewart. Renny Marr, the usual deputy away representing Team GB at the IIHF Under 20's World Championships in Budapest.

After demolishing the Elite League leading Cardiff Devils 0-8 on Saturday night, the Panthers minus forward/assistant coach David Clarke and defence pair Jeff Dimmen and Geoff Waugh started the game strongly.

First, killing an early Blaze powerplay and then taking the lead through Stephen Schultz, tipping home a Kristian Kudroc shot for 1-0 at 5.48.

Blaze turned the game on its head to open the second period, top-scorer Jordan Pietrus netting his 11th of the year (20.53), followed by Ben Davies with his 4th in 10 games (21.59) to give the visitors a 1-2 lead. 

GB defenceman of the Panthers, Steve Lee tied things shortly after, beating Stewart five-hole from a face-off play, timed 25.52.

A two-on-break for Blaze led to a third goal, Davies finding Matt Marquardt who broke his scoring drought for 2-3 at 26.45.

T.J Syner on the powerplay made it 2-4 (32.38) before Panthers' Andy Sertich hammered a shot past Stewart for 3-4 at 38.18. 

Blaze began the third period in similar fashion to the second, making it 3-5 after just ten seconds of the re-start. Brett Robinson scoring his third goal in as many games against Nottingham. 

Former Blaze man Chris Lawrence was next on the scoresheet, a scramble in front leading to 4-5 at 42.35. 

The scores were tied 5-5 with less than ten minutes remaining (51.34), Jeff Brown scoring Nottingham's second powerplay goal of the night.

With the game ending five goals apiece, both teams took a point and headed into 3-on-3 overtime. 

Despite Coventry having a powerplay opportunity, the high scoring affair was to be decided in the shoot-out. 

With Matt Marquardt the only scorer for Blaze over the three shots, Stephen Schultz and Alex Nikiforuk grabbed the win and the additional point for Nottingham. 

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “I thought we played a great hockey game. We played miles better than last night and we find ourselves on the end of a shoot-out loss rather than a 4-1 win but that’s the way it goes sometimes. It was back and forth all night, but credit to them, they played a good game too. All in all it was a great performance by the guys, it's just a shame we fell slightly short."

Highlights thanks to Nottingham Panthers