Belfast bounce back as Blaze defeated
Following a 1-2 victory at the SSE arena last night, Genting Casino Coventry Blaze fell to defeat in the second game of the double header in Belfast. Both teams went into the game missing key players. Blaze without Ashley Tait and top scoring defenceman Josh Godfrey and the Giants absent Captain Adam Keefe, James Desmarais and DJ Rutherford.
Robin Bergman again gave Blaze a 0-1 advantage at 6.38, the primary assist going to Matt Marquardt for the third time in as many goals.
The home side though grabbed the lead to end the first period with two goals in quick succession, Jeff Mason first (18.34), followed by Jim Vandermeer (19.01).
47 seconds into the middle period, whilst short-handed the Giants were awarded a penalty shot, Mike Forney managing to beat Brian Stewart for 3-1 (20.47).
It got worse for Blaze as Blair Riley, who scored a double in the Skydome a week before made it 4-1 at 27.20.
Into the third period and with 4 minutes played Garrett Klotz of Blaze and Matt Nickerson for Belfast dropped the gloves in a heavyweight battle. Shortly after, Coventry defenceman David Clements fought for the first time in Blaze colours taking on British compatriot Colin Shields.
No goals followed as the clocked ticked down to 60 minutes, the Giants taking the two points (4-1) with Blaze now set for a huge Challenge Cup encounter on home ice against the Cardiff Devils tomorrow (5.15pm face-off).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "We came out early with some energy and got the first goal. It was the start we wanted but unfortunately two late goals in the first changed the momentum in their favour and they rode that most of the night. All in all we played some good hockey the last two night's and will just have to find a way to bring that for 60 tomorrow. It's a big game for us and we need everyone at their best!"