At Coventry Blaze, despite 43 Wouter Peeters’ saves, Flames lost their handle on a 3rd period 3 goal lead, but eventually penalty goals from Calle Ackered, Ian Watters and TJ Foster put that behind them with a 5-4 win to close the Challenge Cup group round.
Kruise Reddick kicked off the evening’s offence when he scored at 12:27 but Blaze replied with a Matt Pohlkamp goal exactly 15 minutes into the period, and the club’s skated to break tied at one each.
A couple of late 2nd period strikes by the visitors had them up a pair through 40 minutes. Calle Ackered’s one timer at 34:32, just at the end of a powerplay, put Spectrum’s men in front, then an Owen Griffiths goal at 38:17 opened the multi goal difference.
Ben Davies extended the advantage to 3 early in the 3rd, but a little over 2 minutes later Evan Bloodoff cut Blaze deficit back to a pair. While killing a penalty, Foster was heavily impeded on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. He was unable to re-store the 3 goal spread and moments later Blaze bagged another through Alex Forbes to be within a single with half a period to play. A couple of late delay of game penalties put Flames under pressure with the slim lead. The visitors were able to kill of the 1st of that pair of infractions, but not the 2nd when Drew Shiestel converted to pull his side fully even at 56:55 taking the point they need for home ice in the Cup ‘Play in’ and forcing overtime to determine a winner on the night.
A 4th period of 3 on 3 made no difference to the scoreline, but in penalties the 3 goals from 4 shooters secured the win.
“It would have been nice to have been able to play at a level to protect the good lead we had in the 3rd, but sometimes you have to get to a result the hard way, and we did enough to do just that,” said Paul Dixon.
“For Coventry that 3rd period was the difference between playing at home and on the road in the Cup ‘Play In’ game and credit to them for really putting the pressure on and generating the outcome they needed by getting a regulation point.”
“For us, winning always helps with confidence and now we can look ahead to tomorrow where we will try to put in a really strong effort on the ice when Cardiff drop in at Spectrum.”