Venus double helps Blaze to point in OT Clan loss
Despite picking up a valuable point in the pursuit for an Elite League Playoff spot, the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were defeated in overtime by the Braehead Clan by a score of 4-5 at the Skydome Arena.
After confirming the return of title sponsor Genting Casino before face-off, the crucial game started in perfect fashion for the Playoff chasing Blaze. Matt Marquardt, who was to later fight Cody Carlson in the first period put Coventry ahead in front of a noisy Skydome crowd (1.39).
Alex Leavitt, who like Blaze's Russell Cowley has confirmed his retirement from the sport following the current season levelled at 8.34.
Then, just 19 seconds before the 2,748 in attendance rose to their feet to applaud the services of Cowley at the 17-minute mark, former NHLer Jay Rosehill gave the visitors a 1-2 lead (16.41).
Josh Godfrey's shot from the blue-line was then tipped in by Barry Ameida on the powerplay to tie things at two (19.32).
The second period was a feisty affair with Braehead Captain Matt Keith taking a ten-minute misconduct for abuse of official, Tom Pering. As the clocked ticked down, Great Britain International Ross Venus registered his first of two to send Blaze to the locker room 3-2 to the good (36.52).
Coventry Man of the Match for the second week running, Venus again made it 4-2 early in the final period (42.11), former Clan man Ben Davies with his second assist of the night.
Shortly after, Leavitt registered again for 4-3 (42.21), before Rosehill who had become a pantomime figure picked up a match penalty for head-butting.
The Elite League's leading goal-scorer Scott Pitt was then to pop up scoring to make it 4-4 (57.30), giving both teams a point on 60 minutes and sending the game into 3-on-3 overtime.
With 2.24 minutes played, a face-off in the Blaze zone was won by the Clan and the league's top point-scorer Matt Beca punished the home side, winning the game for the Gardiner Conference Champions 4-5.
With the point and just one game to go away in Sheffield, Coventry continue to hold on to 8th place and the last playoff spot, sitting two points ahead of the Manchester Storm who face the Nottingham Panthers home and away in their final games.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, " I feel gutted for the guys because the effort was there. Maybe the pressure of the situation got to us. We had so many chances and opportunities, but when you leave a team like Braehead Clan hanging around, they have so much talent, they end up burning you."