Blaze Downed in OT by Devils

In a thrilling game at the Skydome Arena, the Cardiff Devils snatched a 3-4 overtime victory against the Coventry Blaze on Sunday night. 

The first period started poorly for the Blaze, who conceded the first early on. Mike McNamee scoring unassisted to put the Devils in front a minute into the game.

The Blaze continued to look shaky defensively and McNamee would go on to punish them further, adding both his and the Devils’ second goal at 4:50.

From then on, Blaze began to shake off their bus legs from a long road trip to Glasgow and grew into the game. 

After Sam Duggan reacted to an earlier Luke Ferrara hit to a teammate, he ended up in the box for cross-checking, allowing Coventry an opportunity on the powerplay.

The Blaze took full advantage when Evan Bloodoff tapped in at the far post, bringing them to within one with five minutes remaining in the first.

Sensing a chance to even it up, the Blaze kept the pressure on the Devils in the remaining five minutes of the period. Cardiff’s goaltender Ben Bowns had to make some big saves to keep them in front going into the first intermission.

The second period brought more end to end hockey. Again, Bowns was the best player on the ice for the Devils, foiling numerous goalscoring opportunities for the Blaze.

Then, after Matthew Myers was called for hooking, Luke Ferrara ripped a slap-shot past Bowns on the powerplay to tie the game 2-2 at 34:48.

The Blaze continued their pressure in the third period and would eventually go on to take the lead for the first time. Charles Corcoran’s shot going straight through Devils’ goaltender Bowns to put the home side 3-2 ahead at 49:59.

The Devils woke up as soon as that goal went in. It didn’t take them long to respond and tie the game up. After an elbowing penalty was called on Ross Venus, Gleason Fournier registered on the man advantage to make it 3-3 at 51:57.

The next ten minutes were a tense affair. A once open and feisty game became very nervous and scrappy. It was the Devils who spent the rest of regulation on top with C.J. Motte in the Coventry goal being called into action numerous times. 

With the game tied 3-3 after 60 minutes, and both teams taking a point, the game went to sudden-death 3-on-3 overtime. 

Overtime hasn’t been kind to the Blaze so far this season and it would be a familiar story as Blair Riley rifled a shot top-shelf on Motte 1.17 into the additional period for a final score of 3-4.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “We put the work in, and it was unfortunate how it ended. I liked our fight-back after going down 2-0. The first goal gave us some life and woke us up a little bit and I felt we were the better team after that. We got a little loose in the overtime period and that hasn’t been a strength of our game this season and it hurt us again.”

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