Flames score early then hang on for win over Blaze
A 4 goal first period staked the Flames to a lead they would just cling to the rest of the way during an eventual 5-4 home ice win over Coventry Blaze.
Less than 2 minutes into the contest the Flames powerplay got them on the board when a Brett Ferguson feed left a gaping cage for Ben Davies to snap home the opener. They went up a pair at 6:20 with an Ian Watters conversion on a close range Kruise Reddick delivery. Luke Ferrara replied on a Blaze extra man situation a little less than 2 minutes later to cut their deficit in half but a mid period Jamie Crooks powerplay goal re-stored the 2 goal spread and a TJ Foster follow up 42 seconds from period close had Spectrum’s men in a 4-1 lead at the break.
Less than 5 minutes after re-start Andrew Johnston clawed one back for Blaze. Jordan Rowley’s first goal in Flames colours had Flames back in a 3 goal cushion just beyond the game’s halfway mark, but Ferrara’s 2nd of the evening at 36:09 cut the visitor’s work load to start the 3rd.
Inside the back 10 minutes, Blaze pulled within a single when John Curran tapped in a Ross Venus pass. A little over 3 minutes from time, pressure continued with Jordan Abt sitting a 2 minute minor and as the power play progressed Blaze added to their manpower differential by pulling their netminder, but Flames managed to escape the 6 on 4 stretch and the remainder of time with the slim margin in tact.
“It was a home game, so we did an excellent job of offering late entertaining suspense for ticket buyers,” joked head coach Paul Dixon.
“If anyone went home feeling like they had been through a hydraulic press, they are not alone. Certainly, when you get a great start like that you want to continue on through the night, but credit to Coventry they wouldn’t let us do that, and it was anyone’s game right to the end.”
“We had lost a couple on the bounce at home so I think we felt even more pressure in the late stages to preserve this one and I can say without a doubt that we are delighted that we were able to hang on to the lead and pick up the points.”
“We have an early start tomorrow to Fife so we have to quickly turn around and be ready for that one.”
Photo of Ben Davies slamming home the opening goal less than 2 minutes into the game. Photo courtesy John Uwins.