After Flames built a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes a high scoring 3rd saw Coventry Blaze pull themselves back to striking distance before Flames finally buttoned up a 7-4 home ice Cup win; the final group game ahead of advancement to the quarter final.
Owen Griffiths opened the scoring at 6:47 and Jordan Klimek doubled their lead late in the frame to take a 2 goal edge to the break.
In the 2nd, at 34:47, just as a 5 minute powerplay expired, Ryan Tait made it a 3 goal spread and Sam Marklund had Flames ahead by 4 through 40 minutes.
Blaze got an early one, just 64 seconds after restart, through Mitch Cook. Turner Ripplinger replied at 41:12 to re-store a 4 goal lead, but a Kim Tallberg strike 45 seconds later had Coventry back within 3. With Ian McNulty out of the game on the back of a major and game misconduct for a check to the head, Kim Tallberg brought Blaze 2 adrift at 48:07, but Peter Crinella was able to add a Flames 6th just under 3 minutes from time to put the game all but out of reach. However, an interesting goal differential situation in terms of final Cup seeding forced the home team with a 3 goal lead to pull their netminder to try and increase the spread to 4. The plan backfired with John Curran getting an empty netter at 59:24, but Ryan Tait came right back with the Flames 7th just 4 seconds from close to seal the win.
“Kind of a tale of 2 games with us really sharp for the first couple of periods, but a different story in the 3rd,” explained Paul Dixon.
“We played very well to get the lead we had and we were hoping to be able to carry that on in the 3rd, but they really turned it on and pushed us back.”
“At the end of the day we secured a win, and are on to the next round of the cup competition.”