Blaze vs. Panthers preview (04/09/16)
The pre-season games have been great haven't they?!
Now though, it's time the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze start the 2016/17 season for real.
The Nottingham Panthers are tonight's visitors for a Challenge Cup clash (5.15pm face-off) at the Skydome Arena.
Corey Neilson's men are the current holders of the trophy, a competition which has seen them have much success in recent years. Quite the opposite for Blaze, who have had their struggles pretty much since last lifting the Challenge Cup back in 2006/07.
Head Coach Danny Stewart was part of that successful side though, and so knows what it takes to win the competition. Following a positive pre-season campaign, the 37-year-old Canadian feels his team is ready to hit the ground running and get off to a good start in a cup he believes his team can land.
Blaze have a healthy record against Nottingham on home ice in recent times, notably winning the last two Challenge Cup encounters in Coventry.
The two last met 11 days ago in pre-season action where Blaze were successful by a score of 6-5 after being 3 goals behind twice in the game, only the 5th time Coventry have come back from such a margin on home ice (11th time overall). Watch the highlights, here.
Both teams will look a little different this time round, with Panthers having imports Brad Moran and Alex Nikiforuk added to the line-up, and Blaze likely to have Brett Robinson and Russ Cowley to call upon after both missed the opening game of the pre-season.
Since that Wednesday night, Panthers travelled to Amiens to compete in the Napolean Cup where they secured two victories (vs. Kassel Huskies and Amiens) and had one defeat to the University Three Rivers from Quebec.
Tickets are still available for the game by calling 02476 630693 or using the new e-ticket system ONLINE.
Why not treat yourself for the start of the season to a luxury ticket in the Crowngate SkyLounge - just £30 per-person and these can be bought online too, here.