The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were beaten 3-5 by the Dundee Stars at Skydome Arena on Saturday.
The Elite League fixture was Coventry’s first since the sad passing of Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson and a fitting tribute was paid to him ahead of the face-off.
When the action got underway following the emotional ceremony, a turnover from the Blaze led to the Stars taking an early lead at 2.20 through Ryan Valentini.
Dundee extended their lead just 31 seconds later when Craig Carrigan’s shot from the point alluded Taran Kozun for 0-2.
Coventry responded well, and deservedly got back into the game at 6.45 when Alessio Luciani tipped home Blake Thompson’s shot his first professional goal. Despite both teams getting further chances, the scoreline remained at 1-2 to end the first period.
The home side had to be patient but got on level terms at 28.27 when Kobe Roth scored his sixth in six regular season games on the powerplay. The assists went to Captain Brady Norrish and forward Danny Kristo, which was his joint league-leading 10th point.
Dundee didn’t allow letting the lead slip deter them and they went ahead again on 36.03 when Josh Brittain’s quick shot found a way past a disappointed Kozun.
Coventry were quickly back on level terms when Kim Tallberg picked up Thompson’s pass and shot past Kevin Carr at 37.26 to finish the second period 3-3.
The physicality picked up in the third as the two teams battled it out for the important two league points, and it was Dundee who were to find a game winner at 54.40.
Johnny Walker was the Stars’ hero, taking advantage of a Blaze mishap behind their own net and finishing nicely from James Phelan’s pass.
Chasing another equaliser, Blaze pulled Kozun for the extra skater in the final minute, but it was the Stars who were to score the final game of the game with Brendan Harms finishing into the empty net at 59.40 for a final score of 3-5.
Photo credit: Dave Martin