A late 2nd period goal by Bradley Lalonde held up for the winner with Flames collecting a 3-2 success at Coventry Blaze.
Just 32 seconds beyond the start, Austin Glover put Flames in front and Peter Crinella had them ahead by a pair when he followed up before the game was 5 minutes old. Shortly after that, however, Alessio Luciani cut Blaze deficit in half and that is how things remained at the close of the frame.
About halfway through the 2nd, Luciani pulled it level, knotting the score at 2 each, but 80 seconds from period time a Bradley Lalonde strike set the visitors ahead by a single. Penalties in the period’s late stages to both sides ended with Flames on a 4 minute powerplay that carried over into the 3rd.
Flames couldn’t extend with the extra skater, and most of the period ticked down still on the 3-2 count. A little over 2 minutes from time a Flames delay of game penalty put Blaze to the powerplay, but not much later, Blaze mis-timed the removal of netminder Taran Kozun and a too many men penalty negated a game closing powerplay and their best chance to tie it up.
Taz Burman was 21 saves on 23 shots for the win, while Kozun turned away 26 of the 29 his way.
“We knew we were up against it tonight against a team who has won something like 9 games on the bounce,” said Paul Dixon.
“I thought we competed well to a man and got a great performance from Taz Burman who has not seen a lot of action lately, but stepped right back in and backed us to a win.”
“Now we go home and do it all over again tomorrow night so we have to get set up for that.”