Late Blaze powerplay blitz stuns Lightning
A third period powerplay blitz from the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze left local rivals Milton Keynes Lightning stunned at Planet Ice Arena, MK on Sunday night.
Having to continually fight back from behind, three late goals with the man advantage eventually swung the high score-line in Coventry’s favour as they skated away with a crucial 5-8 victory in their pursuit of an Elite League playoff position.
British forward Luke Ferrara enjoyed a successful night registering a hattrick and two assists, whilst Canadian Brett Robinson also racked up five points.
The victory puts Blaze level on points with the Braehead Clan who remain just inside the all-important playoff qualifying top eight on regulation wins.
Dynamic defenceman Carl Hudson opened the scoring for the home side with the first of their three on the powerplay (3.23), Kevin King then making it 2-0 (8.47).
Following a time-out, Blaze got themselves back into the game through top-scorer Marco Vallerand (13.07).
Shortly after, Ferrara received a terrific outlet pass from Alex Miner Barron, beating Miika Wiikman on a second attempt for 2-2 at 15.35.
Before the opening twenty were out, Milton Keynes restored their lead through Gui Doucet, the former Elite League Champion with Cardiff tipping home a Lewis Hook shot on the man advantage for 3-2 (19.18).
Just passed the halfway mark (32.31), Blaze grabbed their first of four on the powerplay. Wiikman failing to keep hold of a Ferrara shot, Ben Lake jamming home to tie the game at three.
The third powerplay marker was to come for Lightning on 35.52, Tommy Mele who has a habit of scoring against Coventry beating Kevin Nastiuk to make it 4-3 after 40 minutes.
The scores were equal again at 45.05, Brit Ross Venus registering for 4-4. Francis Verreault-Paul then gave Milton Keynes yet another lead (47.52) before Coventry’s powerplay took over.
A double from Ferrara to complete his hattrick (49.41 and 54.37) was split by Lake’s second (53.03) to give Blaze a 5-7 advantage.
Brett Robinson with an assist from Ferrara, wrapped up the scoring and fifth point each with an empty net goal (59.19).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Our PP stepped up & won us the game tonight. It was a huge weekend & although we weren’t at our best we made plays to win games and get the points which are crucial now. I’m happy for the guys and now we just have to keep pushing ahead.”