ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze claim shootout win before home defeat against Panthers - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze claim shootout win before home defeat against Panthers

Coventry Editorial 6th Feb, 2024 Updated: 6th Feb, 2024   0

COVENTRY Blaze suffered a heavy 6-2 home defeat against Nottingham Panthers after beating the same opponents in a shootout the previous night.

Blaze raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening minute at the Skydome Arena only for Nottingham to complete a stunning comeback by the end of the first period.

And Panthers scored three goals in the final seven minutes to take the game away from Blaze as bottom club Nottingham snapped their eight-game losing run in the league.

That came after Blaze won 5-4 at Motorpoint Arena the previous night as Danny Kristo and JD Dudek scored in the shootout to earn Coventry their 11th overtime win of the season.

The results mean Blaze sit fifth in the Elite League table.

On home ice, Coventry made a blistering start as Kim Tallberg opened the scoring after just 45 seconds before Kristo ended his goal drought 14 seconds later.

However, Panthers responded at 1.22 as Alexander Lunsjo reduced the deficit before Felix Pare struck twice in the space of three minutes to turn the game on its head.

The second period ended goalless although the referee ejected Panthers goalscorer Pare from the game at 23.51 for a headbutt on Ian McNulty.

And after Blaze’s Alessio Luciani saw an equaliser ruled out following a video review, Panthers extended their lead at 53.36 through Westin Michaud following another video review despite Coventry netminder Taran Kozun arguing the puck had not crossed the line.

Blaze pulled Kozun for the extra skater to create a six-on-four powerplay opportunity but failed to take the chance as Mathieu Lemay finished into an empty net at 57.21.

And Nottingham added some gloss to the scoreline at 57.40 when Lunsjo scored his second of the night.

In Nottingham the previous night, Blaze once again took an early lead as Tyler Kirkup broke the deadlock at 3.42.

Panthers drew level at 5.37 when Hugo Roy stole the puck in the neutral zone and beat Kozun while shorthanded.

However, Coventry scored two powerplay goals in quick succession as Brady Norrish at 28.27 and Dudek at 29.50 both found the net on the man advantage.

Nottingham kept themselves in the contest through Anthony Luciani’s goal at 33.18 on the powerplay before Lemay equalised following a delayed penalty at 47.17.

And Lemay completed the turnaround with a powerplay goal at 48.49 only for Alessio Luciani to take the game to overtime with a leveller for Blaze at 51.59.

The game eventually went to a shoot out with Kristo and Dudek both on target to ensure Blaze went home with the points.

Coventry are next in action away at Cardiff Devils on Friday, February 9 with the face-off at 7.30pm at the Vindico Arena.

Blaze then host Sheffield Steelers on Sunday, February 11 with the face-off at 5.30pm at the Skydome.

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