Blaze beat Giants via penalty shots

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze beat the Belfast Giants 3-2 via a penalty shoot-out at Skydome Arena on Sunday.

The fixture was the first between the two since Blaze knocked the reigning Champions out of the Challenge Cup at the Quarter-Final stage a month ago, also using a penalty-shootout.

Blaze got off to the perfect start when Ian McNulty fed Kobe Roth to score his team leading 16th of the regular season at just 35 seconds.

Captain Brady Norrish then put the home side two ahead, blasting a one-timer past Jackson Whistle in the Belfast goal on the powerplay at 14.57.

The strike was Norrish’s fourth in the past five games and his eighth of the season, four of which coming on the mad advantage.

The Giants pulled the deficit back to one 58 seconds past the mid-way point when Ciaran Long made the most of a bobbling puck in the Blaze slot to beat Taran Kozun for 2-1.

Sean Norris tied the game for the Giants with 10.46 left in regulation time, and as things headed for overtime there was late drama when Travis Brown was ejected for checking to the head of J.D. Dudek.

Belfast survived the final 24 seconds of regulation, and overtime, while shorthanded before the game was decided in a shoot-out.

Danny Kristo, Dudek and McNulty all scored while the Giants were unable to beat Taran Kozun in the Blaze net.

The victory was Coventry’s eighth in the last nine Elite League games.

Photo credit: Scott Wiggins