Lake penalty-shot double delights Blaze
Canadian forward Ben Lake and Czech netminder Miroslav Kopriva were the heroes as the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze skated away from the Fife Ice Arena with a 2-3 shootout victory.
Lake scored two penalty-shots on the night, the first during regulation time for his 7th goal in 10 games, the second, the only successful attempt for both teams in the shootout. Stopping 30 of 31 shots, plus blanking all 5 Flyers penalty attempts, Kopriva earnt a well-deserved ‘W’, just being pipped to the Man of the Match award by the outstanding Lake.
Following a journey of over 350 miles which saw them stuck in traffic and the game being delayed for ten minutes, the Blaze came out of the traps well. New Father to a second child this week, Alex Nikiforuk opening the scoring on the powerplay at 13.39.
Coventry might have felt unlucky not be ahead by more when Brett Bulmer tied the game for the high-flying home team (28.52).
Stopping 31 shots of his own, Shane Owen in the Fife net was as ever a tough obstacle to beat, but Lake finally managed it to put Blaze ahead again with a penalty-shot on 46.01 after Tim Crowder was hauled down on a breakaway.
Continuing to play an excellent road game, the away side might have thought that would be enough to win the game in regulation, however the Flyers had different ideas, levelling the score again through Evan Stoflet with just over 5 minutes remaining (54.31).
With both teams taking a point, five minutes overtime came and went with the Blaze controlling much of the play, but Fife having their chances, particularly a late two-on-one opportunity well stopped by Kopriva with help from a sprawling Jake Hansen.
With 5 penalty shots each, Lake’s effort was the only successful attempt, handing Fife their first home defeat of the season and his side a 2-3 victory, the second in as many weeks in Scotland.