Match report

Hache seals comeback OT victory for Blaze

Blaze 5
Stars 4

A powerplay goal 28 seconds into overtime from Canadian defenceman Justin Hache saw the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze secure a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Dundee Stars at the Skydome Arena

The Blaze had looked like they were heading to defeat before Tim Crowder tied the score with just 35 seconds left in regulation time. A slashing penalty against former Coventry forward Matt Marquardt just seven seconds into the extra period then led to Hache’s winner.

The Blaze were missing long-term injury victim Jake Hansen but were otherwise at full strength. The Stars were missing their captain Johan Andersson, as well as Francois Bouchard and Matt Bissonnette, but included recently signed forward Oliver Paczkowski.

The Stars took the lead 6.47 into the first period through Charles Corcoran, before the Blaze drew level when Ben Lake scored his 24th league goal of the season on the powerplay at 15.44. However, the Stars ended the first period in the lead when Marquardt scored on the powerplay at 18.19 after David Clements had been penalised for a late hit.

The second period saw the two sides trade penalties before Lake scored his second of the night when he got a tip on a Chris Joyaux shot at 34.07. And just under three minutes later the Blaze took their first lead of the night when Lake turned provider to set up Shawn Pauly who scored his 11th league goal of the campaign, thanks to some skilful stick-handling, at 37.00. But the home sides lead was short-lived, with Lukas Lundvald putting home a rebound at 38.28 to ensure the second period ended with the teams level at 3-3.

The Blaze began the third period on the powerplay but conceded a short-handed goal just 14 seconds in when the Stars’ man-of-the-match Corcoran scored his second of the night after Coventry turned the puck over to give the Stars a 3-4 lead at 40.14. With time running out, Blaze pulled netminder Matt Hackett for the extra attacker and the move paid dividends when Crowder netted his 19th league goal of the season at 59.25, sending the game into overtime where Hache's strike 28 seconds in, gave Blaze a crucial two points in the playoff race and a final score of 5-4.

The game saw Lake, who was named Blaze man-of-the-match, and Crowder both extend their points scoring streak to 13 games. Lake now also ties Guildford's Kruise Reddick for most total points in the Elite League, while Alex Nikiforuk extended his points scoring streak at the Skydome to 11 games with an assist on Hache’s overtime winner.

HC Danny Stewart