Flames fall short in closing out challenge start
3 Flames goals in less than a minute in the final period helped them pull within a single after falling behind by 4, but a late Blaze strike doused a full comeback effort during a 5-3 defeat to the visiting Coventry side to close out the challenge weekend.
Each team traded successful penalty kills across the early stages of the game before the first goal near the period halfway mark when Zach Milton re-directed a Drew Schiestel shot for a 1-0 visitors lead. Later in the frame, a short 5 on 3, and the remainder of a Flames single manpower advantage, couldn’t find the net and the first break began with the Flames 1 goal off the pace.
In the 29th minute, Blaze doubled the difference through Dillon Eichstadt and a little over 4 minutes from middle stanza time, Justin Hamonic extended the spread to 3.
Just over 3 minutes into the 3rd, Luke Ferrara had the eventual winner when he had Blaze in command at 4-0. A run of 3 goals in quick succession inside the back 10 minutes had the Flames suddenly back in contention. At 53:49 Joshua Waller got it started and TJ Foster goals in the same shift at 54 minutes and another 30 seconds later pulled the gap to a single. Late in the game, a Flames powerplay had a chance to square it, but just after getting back to even numbers, Blaze put the game away with their 5th through Chris Pohlkamp to complete the scoring.
“Well same as yesterday when we won,” said Paul Dixon, “the score is quite secondary in these games and hopefully we are getting our feet under us after 120 minutes of live game action over the weekend.”
“We pressured them quite a bit in the first period, but it was the 2nd where they turned it around and had us on the back foot. They took advantage of their chances across that stretch to build a pretty good lead that we just couldn’t recover.”
“The ‘never quit’ quality we have seen over the past couple of seasons certainly showed up again tonight, and despite a loss, that is a good thing to see. It was also nice to get some goals there and bring a bit of life back into the building.”
“It would be a little early in the proceedings to have everyone go home feeling bad about themselves and worrying about what the scoreboard said about tonight. The better route is to take all the stuff we learned, good and bad, and try to use it next week in training as we try to ramp it up for the league opener Saturday against Panthers.”