COVENTRY Blaze ended their six-game losing run in all competitions with a 6-3 victory against Nottingham Panthers in their first match of the New Year.
Kim Tallberg struck twice for Blaze with Johnny Curran, Peyton Frantti, Jack Billings and Mitch Cook all on target in a comfortable win at the Skydome Arena.
The result means Blaze sit fifth in the Elite League standings with a 10-point lead over the Panthers who are one place below.
However, the visitors made a quick start when centreman Tanner Sorenson opened the scoring at 4.14 only for Curran to equalise for Blaze at 6.34 when he converted Garrett Johnston’s shot.
Nottingham regained the lead at 11.58 when Brett Welychka scored a rebound on the powerplay before Coventry levelled the game on the man advantage through Frantti at 16.55.
Blaze took the lead for the first time at 22.20 when a video review confirmed that Tallberg’s shot went through the net to score his 15th goal of the season.
However, Sorensen’s second of the game at 33.25 tied the game up at three apiece at the end of the second period.
Billings scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 44.16 when one-on-one with Panthers netminder Alex Dubeau.
Nottingham pulled their goalie for an extra skater and Blaze made the most of this to score twice more with Cook first to strike into an empty net at 58.33 as he was rewarded for his efforts on the shift
And Tallberg completed the scoring at 59.22, as Panthers kept Dubeau off the ice, when the Swede was gifted an opportunity to grab his 16th goal of the campaign.
Blaze are next in action at home to Glasgow Clan on Sunday, January 8 with the face-off at 5.30pm at the Skydome Arena.