A LAST minute goal from Blaze skipper Jordan Pietrus earned Coventry Blaze a dramatic win at the Skydome as they defeated the Braehead Clan 3-2.
After missing out on Challenge Cup qualification on Friday night following a disappointing 2-1 loss to Nottingham, Danny Stewart’s men picked themselves up to earn a hard fought victory in a fiercely contested game.
Not even Braehead’s physical side denied the Blaze from taking the lead as a diving Liam Stewart managed to get on the end of a cross-ice pass from newbie Ben Davies to put the Blaze one ahead.
A vocal visiting crowd helped the Clan score two goals within three minutes towards the end of the second period though as Scott Pitt and Matt Beca reversed the scoreline to make it 2-1.
Defenceman Kevin Noble had a shot slammed against the iron shortly before the end of the second period, however the real drama happened when opposing player Jay Rosehill put a hit on Noble with three minutes left.
Rosehill, who controversially held Blaze skipper Jordan Pietrus and pushed Russ Cowley to the floor earlier in the game, was joined by Noble who received two minutes for holding.
The four on four game seemed to benefit the Blaze though as they broke three on one with 30 seconds left.
Despite Liam Stewart’s shot being superbly saved, Braehead couldn’t keep out Jordan Pietrus’ follow up as Coventry took the lead.
The Blaze held on for the two points as they earned a third successive home win.
Post-game, Blaze boss Danny Stewart said: “We had a bad sickness bug across the team tonight, a few of the guys were even throwing up in between shifts on Friday night in Nottingham.
“I’m proud of the boys, it was a gutsy performance and they’ve earned a couple of days rest.
“I’m pleased we got scrappy goals because that’s what we’ve lacked.
“Braehead are a physical team and we put ourselves under pressure at times tonight by giving away a couple of penalties.
“Ben (Davies) was superb for his first home game tonight – his assist and the goal were great and he’s fitted into the side well.
“It’s important we get the sickness out of the locker room before next weekend though where we have three games.”