Blaze suffer more cup disappointment
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze's Challenge Cup hopes hang by a thread following a hard fought 2-3 defeat to the Cardiff Devils at the Skydome Arena.
Whilst still a mathematical chance of qualification with two games remaining, Blaze's hope of progression as a best third placed team rely on a number of results going Coventry's way.
There was no scoring in the opening period despite Coventry hitting the post twice, Dax Lauwers later making it three times on the night.
With Ryan Dingle and Kevin Noble in the penalty box, Cardiff defenceman Drew Paris opened the scoring (27.11) with a big slap shot from the point whilst 5-on-3.
Blaze were then punished for a giveaway in their own end, Paul Crowder firing past Kevin Nastiuk to give the away side a two goal advantage.
Marco Vallerand, scoring for the seventh straight home game got Coventry on the board to start the third period (42.01) with a powerplay marker. Both teams going 1-5 with the man advantage.
Devils' coach Andrew Lord put a dagger to the heart of Coventry shortly after though, putting home a Jake Morrissette assist, his second of the night, in close (46.13) for 1-3.
Two game misconduct penalties followed (52.28) as Blaze's Danick Paquette was adjudged a 5+game checking to the head. Devils' Andrew Hotham picking up the same 5+game for slashing in retaliation.
Captain Jordan Pietrus made it 2-3 (46.58), but despite pulling Nastiuk and piling on late pressure Blaze were unable to find a third way past Great Britain's Ben Bowns.