The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze fought back from three goals down to beat the Manchester Storm 3-4 in the Elite League at Storm Shelter on Saturday.
American Aidan Spellacy returned to the Coventry line-up following a brief spell on the sidelines through injury. Mitch Cook, who has scored two in the last two games, sat out through precaution ahead of the Wednesday’s Challenge Cup Semi-Final first-leg vs. Sheffield Steelers.
Nolan Kent started in net for Blaze with Evan Weninger his opposite number for the Storm.
Despite each team earning a powerplay opportunity in the opening ten minutes of the game, neither goalie looked like being beaten as both sides took time to settle into the game.
Manchester took the lead at 14.54 when Tyler Hinam set up Samuel Tremblay for his first of two with Cameron Critchlow getting the second assist.
Hinham then turned provider for Captain Critchlow who gave the Storm a 2-0 first period lead at 17.27.
1.33 before the half-way mark, Tremblay’s second made it 3-0 and gave Coventry a mountain to climb.
It was a task they were up to, though, beginning with Spellacy’s unassisted back-hand effort at 33.47.
Tyler Kirkup then took advantage of a Storm defensive breakdown to make it a one goal game at 37.59 before Kim Tallberg sensationally tied things up 44 seconds later.
With 9.01 remaining Manchester’s Dallas Ehrhardt was given a double minor penalty for high sticking on Kobe Roth. The Storm were able to kill it off but just a few seconds after returning to full strength the Blaze were able to use the momentum gained to find a game-winning goal.
Defenceman Blake Thompson was the scorer, firing past Weninger from the blue-line at 55.25 thanks to a screen provided by Man of the Match Spellacy and Alessio Luciani.
The Storm were given a late powerplay opportunity and with Weninger pulled for the extra skater to make it 6-on-4 Kent was called upon to make two big saves in the final minute to secure the two points and a big comeback victory for Coventry.
Photo credit: Mark Ferris