Mistakes costly to Blaze in Panthers defeat

Blaze 3
Panthers 5

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach bemoaned “bad mistakes” as his team fell to a consecutive weekend without a point.

Blaze went into their second Elite League game of the season against the Nottingham Panthers missing defenceman Marc Cantin who picked up an injury the night before in Cardiff.

In front of a large and boisterous Skydome crowd, the first ten minutes flew by as both teams battled for each inch of ice. A big hit by Kevin Noble just past the 11-minute mark led to Panthers’ David Clarke dropping the gloves in retribution, each receiving 5 for fighting.

Geoff Waugh opened the scoring for Nottingham finding free ice to rifle past Brian Stewart (13.04) before Jeff Dimmen doubled the away sides lead on the powerplay (16.44).

Josh Godfrey continued his fine form grabbing his fourth goal of the season (18.52) and the period ended with both teams having words as they left the ice in a 1-2 game.

Blaze started the middle 20 minutes on the powerplay but it was Nottingham who extended their lead early, a 3-on-1 break as ex-Blaze player Chris Lawrence joined the Panthers attack from the penalty box, Jeff Brown finishing to make it 1-3 (21.59).

Coventry though responded again through Brett Robinson firing from the point past Miika Wiikman for 2-3 (23.38).

A further mistake and an odd man rush just over ten minutes later gave Panthers a 2-4 lead going into the second period break, Stephen Schultz the finisher (34.13). 

Blaze were forced to kill three penalties in the final period before earning one of their own with just less than 3 minutes remaining. Following a time-out and on the powerplay, Captain Jordan Pietrus put his side within one (3-4) with 1.10 left on the clock.

With Brian Stewart pulled from the Coventry net, Brad Moran of the Panthers bounced the puck off the boards from his own defensive zone finding the empty net to finish the game 3-5 to the Panthers (59.20).

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks. I thought the guys deserved better tonight but unfortunately it’s the same mistakes we’re making. We’re playing catch-up every night. First, second, even third period we spent large portions of the game in their end but we make one mistake, I can live with mistakes but the mistakes we are making are costing us goals. I can’t fault the compete levels but in saying that you’ve got to work smart too.

“We played more than good enough to win a hockey game. These are correctable mistakes. If teams are coming in and out-shooting us 50 to 20 and we have no answer then I’ll put my hands up and say ‘listen guys I’m doing something wrong’ but we’re all in this together, we’re playing good hockey, our performances are good, we’re just making stupid mistakes at bad times that are costing us bad goals and they are demoralising.”

Listen to Danny Stewart press-conference

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#23 Brett Robinson