With Flames opening leg 2 of the Cup quarter final with a 5-0 lead, a 4-3 win at Coventry Blaze secured the visitor’s place in the semi final round thanks to a 9-3, 6 goal, aggregate win.
At 14:04 Jack Billings bagged Blaze’s first of the series to cut their aggregate deficit to 4 and they remained within that distance through the end of the frame.
At 28:16 Logan Fredericks first goal in Flames gear levelled the evening and an Ian McNulty strike 23 seconds later put Flames in front and re-stored the initial 5 goal difference. A 33rd minute Nathan Ripley goal tied it at 2, and made it 2-7 combined. However, during a late period Blaze powerplay, the home team pulled their goaltender to take a 6 on 4 skater advantage, but Mike Crocock foiled the strategy when he scored shorthanded on the empty net 1 second from period time to put Flames in the game lead while holding an 8-2 aggregate count to start the 3rd.
A 46th minute Marly Quince powerplay goal levelled the game on 3 each but a late Peter Crinella strike was the night’s winner and the final marker in the overall aggregate score.
Eamon McAdam in the Flames net registered 32 saves on 35 shots while Paavo Holsa was 23 of 26.
“It is obviously quite an advantage to come into leg 2 with a 5 goal lead, but you still want to have a good showing in the 2nd leg in those circumstances and I thought both teams did that,”offered Paul Dixon.
“We would have taken the 3-3 draw late in the 3rd, but it makes it feel that much better to have been able to tack on a goal and claim the win on both games.”
“It is exciting to close out the pre Christmas run with a place in the semis. The guys can take a couple of days to enjoy a bit of a break then we will be right back at it to kick off the last half of the schedule with back to backs against Manchester starting on Boxing Day.”
“We wish everyone a Happy Christmas, and we look forward to getting going again early next week.”