Tempers flare but Blaze take points at second attempt in Belfast - The Coventry Observer

8th Aug, 2022

Tempers flare but Blaze take points at second attempt in Belfast

Ben Tyler 7th Jan, 2020

BLAZE head coach Danny Stewart praised the impact of goaltender C.J Motte for his heroics in Sunday night’s victory over Belfast Giants.

The 4-1 triumph at the SSE Arena helped Coventry instantly avenge themselves following a defeat by the same scoreline on the previous night, ensuring a split of the points after two nights on the road in the Northern Irish capital.

Goals from Luke Ferrara, Matt Pohlkamp and a double from Andrew Johnston secured a 15th victory this term, moving the Blaze up to sixth in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Offering his thoughts on the win, Stewart said: “The two powerplay goals were huge, especially after a game like last night (Saturday) where we struggled to create anything.

“I thought Motte was superb tonight. The times where we needed him to come up big, he did – and then some.”

In Sunday’s face-off, Ferrara netted his 21st goal of the season three minutes and seven seconds into the game after taking full advantage of a powerplay period.

Eventual man-of-the-match Johnston scored his first of the night and Coventry’s second during a swift breakaway at 5.44, though the lead was halved when former Coventry man Ben Lake turned and finished expertly at 14.55.

Five-minute penalties were handed out to Blaze’s Justin Hamonic and Giants’ Shane Long following a bout of fisticuffs as the first period came to a close, prior to a second 20 in which the visitors went further ahead.

Johnston (32.45) got the better of Stephen Murphy once more, while Pohlkamp (35.56) got in on the act three minutes later to all but confirm victory.

With no further goals, despite Blaze goaltender Motte being drawn into making 44 saves throughout the game, Blaze ensured a positive end to their Northern Irish escapade.

It was a complete contrast to Coventry’s fortunes on Saturday night, when Curtis Leonard, Elgin Pearce and Rickard Palmberg all got the better of Motte in the opening period.

A fourth followed in the middle period when Palmberg notched his second of the night, meaning Dillon Eichstadt’s effort on 34 minutes to finish the scoring was a consolation at best.

A trip to Glasgow Clan on Friday (7.30pm) now awaits, before Blaze finally return to their home rink against Fife Flyers on Saturday (7pm).

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