Hedley back-stops Blaze to victory
British netminder Jordan Hedley collected his second Man of the Match award of the weekend, stopping 26 of 28 shots to help the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze to a 5-2 victory over local rivals Milton Keynes Lightning at the Skydome Arena.
Heavily depleted on defence already, Milton Keynes suffered an early blow as Rihard Grigors, on a short-term try-out was adjudged to have head-butted Blaze forward Jake Hansen following a battle in front of the away sides net. The Latvian defenceman receiving a match penalty, giving Blaze the opportunity to take a commanding lead on a full 5 minute powerplay.
The opener came from American forward Shawn Pauly at 9.40, his first of two on the night. Captain Kevin Morris made it two (12.27), also on the man advantage putting the away side, who were heavily beaten by Guildford Flames the night before in a first period hole.
It got worse for Doug McKay's side on 18.46 as a pretty dish by Kelin Ainsworth was finished expertly by Ben Lake close in, celebrating as he fell down to the ice.
A single strike from Eric Neiley in the middle period made it a 3-1 game but Blaze again took over in the third. Pauly's second (44.35), and a much needed strike for Canadian speedster Jake Hansen (50.23) were separated by an effort from MK's Radek Meidl on the powerplay for a final score of 5-2.