A nearly capacity Spectrum crowd witnessed a trio of goals in the 1st period, including the winner by Ian Watters on the powerplay, that turned out to be just enough offence to hold off the visiting Coventry Blaze during a 3-2 win.
After a great deal of sustained pressure, and just near the end of consecutive powerplays, the Flames finally got one over the line when Brett Ferguson tapped a Geoff Walker goal mouth pass into the empty space at 8:47. 74 seconds later Mikael Lidhammar made it a 2 goal lead, but Brett Robinson, on a breakaway, cut the visitor’s deficit back to a single at 14:33. Just before the period closed, however, Spectrum’s men got that one back on another man advantage when a Jesse Craige neutral zone feed sent Watters in alone and the Canadian made sure his side re-stored the 2 goal difference. In a much more evenly balanced middle set, the Blaze had the only goal when Marc-Olivier Vallerand had them within a single, but that was as close as they would come as the clubs went scoreless for final half of the evening.
“Just last week we were on the reverse end of a similar 1st period where we had penalty trouble, and our opposition took advantage,” said Paul Dixon.
“With that memory not all that far from our minds, it was good to see we were able to get a couple of powerplay goals when we had the extra guy to set us up for a good start.”
“In that period especially, even when we were 5 on 5, I felt we generated a lot of pressure and we missed some quality scoring chances even before we got going.”
“Coventry did a great job of sticking in there and getting themselves back into it, and we played a virtual dead heat for the last 40 minutes.”
“We need some of these conference wins, so we leave this one pretty satisfied as we head into Cardiff tomorrow night.”