Coventry Blaze netminder Miklós Rajna turned aside most of a heavy shot count while his side scored a couple of 3rd period goals to take a lead they would not relinquish during a 3-2 win over the Flames on Spectrum ice.
Flames nearly doubled Coventry’s shot count in the opening frame, but it was the visiting Blaze who went to break with a lead when they scored just 16 seconds from period time through Marly Quince.
A little over 4 minutes into the middle set, Brett Ferguson levelled, and the rest of the period ran down without another goal.
Blaze blew the game open early in the 3rd when Mitch Cook stepped his side in front at 44:58 and Nathanael Halbert converted a powerplay just over 10 minutes from close to take a 3-1 lead down the stretch. Less than 2 minutes from the end, Bradley Lalonde on the powerplay pulled Flames within a single, but with their net empty for approximately the final 90 seconds, they couldn’t find the handle on an equalizer and closed the evening a goal off the pace.
Taz Burman had 13 saves on 16 shots while Rajna was 31 for 33.
“It’s hard for guys not to be frustrated with that one,” said Paul Dixon.
“We had a lot of good looks to be well in front early on. Hit a post, missed the net on clear chances then turned aside when we were on target. We couldn’t get a lead I thought we deserved based on territorial play.”
“When you get deeper into a game and that is behind you, it is a bit of a worry that you may not find a way through on enough occasions to turn the game and we didn’t. There were areas where I thought we could have been better so it was not our best game, and at this stage we need only our best or we won't collect enough points to get where we need to be.”
“There is no time here for self-pity so we need to get some sleep then get back on the ice right away to make sure we are up for a big weekend ahead in Dundee then back here Sunday night when Sheffield drops in.”