Blaze collect crucial road point

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze earned a point from a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Guildford Flames at the Spectrum on Sunday.

Seeking to snap a five-game losing streak, coach Danny Stewart opted to shake up his line-up from the night previous in Nottingham, bringing in Chase Hartje and J.D. Dudek, who replaced Carter Allen and Danny Kristo.

The Flames, who booked their post-season playoff place despite a 2-5 defeat to Fife Flyers on Saturday, took an early lead through Matt Alvaro, assisted by the eventual match winner Ben O’Connor.

The first period lacked any real flow and Blaze’s penalty kill was called into action twice to prevent Flames from doubling their lead.

Coventry’s defensive effort was rewarded at 17.45 when blue-liner Alexander Kuqali scored his fourth of the regular season with helpers going to Kim Tallberg and Dudek.

Blaze were again forced to kill a couple of minor penalties in the middle period, but with Taran Kozun strong in net, the away side were able to keep the score tied at one through 40 minutes.  

Johnny Curran put Coventry ahead at 41.52 from Kobe Roth and Ian McNulty but Ryan Tait got the Flames level with 6.01 remaining in the game.

Regulation time ended 2-2 and with each team earning a point, the game went to a sudden death overtime period.

It took until the final minute for a winner to be found and it came from offensive minded defenceman O’Connor who registered his 7th goal of the season to win the game for Guildford.

Coventry host Manchester Storm on Wednesday at Skydome Arena (7.30pm), and sitting just one point inside the playoff positions, the points are at a premium ahead of the final weekend of the regular season.

Photo credit: John Uwins