The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze prevailed in an exciting sudden-death penalty-shoot out to beat the Glasgow Clan 5-6 at Braehead Arena on Saturday.
After their longest road trip of the season so far, Blaze came out brightly and took a lead after just 33 seconds through their Man of the Match Tyler Kirkup.
Canadian Nolan Kent received his first professional start for Coventry in goal, and he looked confident in the early going making several smart saves.
At 16.14 Blaze doubled their advantage when Swede Kim Tallberg scored on the first powerplay of the night, assisted by eventual hero of the game Danny Kristo.
After Cole Donhauser was sent to the penalty box for an unfortunate delay of game call, Glasgow took advantage of their first powerplay at 22.44 with Michael Pelech beating Kent to make it 1-2.
Just 14 seconds later Blaze hit back with Kirkup scoring his second of the game and Kristo doubling his assist tally.
At 31.13 the visitors looked like they had taken complete control of the game as Captain Brady Norrish’s shot beat Jake Kielly to give Coventry a 1-4 lead.
That wasn’t to be the case, though, as Glasgow showed resilience to find a way back.
American Nate Kallen was the major factor scoring twice in less than three minutes, first at 34.30 and then 37.28.
Pelech bagged his second at 38.59, tapping home a puck that had settled on the line from a Gary Haden shot to send the teams to the locker rooms tied 4-4 after two periods.
Coventry took the second period break to re-set themselves and didn’t let giving up a convincing lead deter them.
Kiely was forced into several stops to begin the third period before Kobe Roth gave Blaze the lead again scoring on a rebound from David Clements. Kristo was awarded a third assist of the game on the goal.
Again, though, the Clan came back and found an equaliser from Darien Craighead at 51.55 which took the game into overtime after a 5-5 tie in regulation.
Chances came and went for both teams in the 3-on-3 additional period but with neither keeper beaten a shoot-out was needed to decide the extra point.
After five shots each, there was still no winner but Blaze finally grabbed a lead with Kristo converting on shot six.
Debutant Matt Barry was given the opportunity to keep Glasgow’s hopes alive but again Kent came up big for Coventry to secure the two points.