Ice Hockey
Coventry Blaze suffer defeat in Cardiff

By Steve Carpenter Monday 26 November 2012 Updated: 28/11 12:12

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Buy photos » Ross Venus celebrates his second in front of the Blaze supporters. (s) Photo by Mark Tredgold

BLAZE coach Paul Thompson was left cursing what might have been after his side failed to make their chances pay throughout their 5-2 defeat on the road to Belfast in the Elite League.

Fans of both sides were no doubt expectant after their last explosive clash a month ago at the same venue.

But Sunday's clash turned out to be a much a tamer affair which saw Cardiff take a 2-0 lead before Greg Leeb pulled one back on 36 minutes.

Two strikes by Stuart MacRae put the home side firmly in control in the final period and although Brad Leeb's goal gave Blaze hope, Chris Blight wrapped up the win one minute from time.

“Throughout the game we had some quality scoring chances,” said Thompson. “But we broke down three times in the second and it cost us.

“If we have taken some of those it could have been a different game.

“In the first period (Cardiff netminder Phil) Osaer made some fantastic saves to keep it at 0-0.

“We made some stupid decisions and they cost us goals.

“I was happy with the effort and it was one of the better first periods we have had in Cardiff.”

The defeat somewhat overshadowed Blaze's convincing 6-0 victory at home to Dundee Stars the previous evening.

Man of the match Ross Venus scored twice to put his side in control after the opening period and further goals in the second period from Brad Leeb, Mike Schutte and Gerome Giudice saw Blaze storm in a 5-0 lead.

Captain Shea Guthrie made it 6-0 in the final period before netminder Peter Hirsch was replaced by back-up Adam Goss with eight minutes to go with the pair sharing a 23-shot shut-out.

“It was a good win,” Thompson added. “With Russell Cowley not far away from coming back into the line-up, I told the guys there will be competition for places and Ross responded.

“For the last 30 minutes we rolled four lines and it gave us the chance to give some minutes to the younger guys and it was also good to get Adam in there at the end.”

*In other news, Blaze quartet Venus, James Griffin, Matt Selby and Adam Goss have been named in the Great Britain Under-20 squad for their World Championship campaign in Ukraine from December 10-16.

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