Blaze grab incredible overtime victory
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze experienced a thrilling night at the Altrincham Ice Dome this evening scoring two late goals, followed by an overtime winner to secure a 6-7 victory against the Manchester Storm.
With just over a minute left in the game and 6-4 down, Head Coach Danny Stewart left his sides net wide open, choosing to pull Scottish netminder Renny Marr who started the game in place of usual number one Brian Stewart.
On the powerplay, and with the additional sixth skater, Matt Marquardt fired past Mike Clemente in the Storm net for 6-5 before Swedish forward Robin Bergman tied the game at six, again with Marr pulled.
In 3-on-3 sudden death overtime, the first time Blaze have experienced the Elite League's new format, it was last season's top point and goal scorer, Brett Robinson who secured an incredible win for his team with 2.29 left in the extra 5 minute period.
Before that, goals from Bjorn Bombis, Brett Robinson and Robin Bergman had given Blaze a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second period before four unanswered goals, a double from Paul Phillips and strikes from Cody Cartier and Adam Harding had given Manchester a 4-3 lead going into the second intermission.
In the third, Matt Marquardt's first goal of the game tied things at four before Cartier hit a second and Mario Trabucco converted to put Storm 6-4 ahead.
With the game seemingly out of reach for Blaze, a late powerplay and additional skater in place of the goaltender proved the catalyst for a marvellous turn-around as Marquardt and Bergman found equalisers before the Brett Robinson winner.
Head Coach Danny Stewart joked post-game: "The game went exactly according to plan. We wanted to work on our 6-on-5 play at the end so we let them get ahead by a couple and then we wanted to tie it and work on our overtime play!"
He continued with more seriousness, "No, listen, it was a crazy game, that's what pre-season is all about. The first and third period we played great hockey. The second period, I addressed it, we gave up four goals because we got a little bit selfish with a 3 goal lead. Guys got caught on the wrong side of pucks and we were forcing things. It wasn't good and we've got to nip that in the bud."
Blaze are next in action on Saturday night, again in pre-season action, away against the Cardiff Devils.