After falling behind by 4 goals, Flames mounted a furious comeback effort, scoring 3 times in less than 4 minutes in the back half of the 3rd, but a final late Blaze strike secured a 5-3 Cup defeat of the visitors from Spectrum.
Blaze hit the scoresheet first with what turned out to be the only offence of the opening set thanks to Radek Veselý at 8:47.
81 seconds into the 2nd, the home team doubled their advantage with a Peyton Frantti strike, and they took full command with their 3rd from Marly Quince just over 5 minutes from period time to hold a 3 goal gap with a period to play.
Inside the back half of the 3rd, Garrett Johnston widened the gap to 4 before a Flames rally set up an interesting finish. Owen Griffiths scored on a powerplay at 53:13. Johan Eriksson cut the deficit to a pair at 56:41 and Ian McNulty had Flames a goal away just 23 seconds after that. Unfortunately for Flames faithful, a Mitch Cook reply in the 59th minute doused the rally as the visitors fell 5-3.
“If there was ever a game where you might say we got better as we went along, this was definitely it,” conceded Paul Dixon.
“We did not open well at all, and Coventry really took it to us in that first period. I thought we were better in the 2nd even though they expanded the difference, but we were definitely better when we were desperate in the 3rd.”
“It’s not something you turn on and off on purpose and score at will, so you won’t usually score 3 like we did to make a game of it at the end, but it was good to see that we didn’t quit. Not our best night by any means, but we didn’t give up even with 8, 9 minutes left and down by a mile.”
“We are not happy with a loss, but some nights the other team does things to make it very difficult to have success and Coventry did that tonight. They played a great game and deserved that result. The thing we will look at is that we did not throw in the towel at any point, so we have to take that home with us as a positive, put this one behind us and get geared up again for the games ahead.”