Blaze top Panthers in shoot-out

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze used a shoot-out to defeat the Nottingham Panthers 4-5 at Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.

The Blaze welcomed back forwards Kim Tallberg and Mitch Cook into the line-up but were again without defenceman James Shearer and Nottingham born forward Jack Hopkins.

Aiming to repeat their New Year’s Eve success, Blaze took an early lead in Nottingham when Tyler Kirkup found space in front of Rok Stojanovic’s net and beat the Panthers’ goalie for 1-0 at 3.42.

Nottingham equalised shortly after when the quick skating Hugo Roy stole the puck in the neutral zone and beat Taran Kozun while shorthanded at 5.37.

Coventry more than made up for their earlier faux pas on the man advantage by using the powerplay to score twice in quick succession in the second period and take a 1-3 advantage.

Captain and former Panthers’ defenceman Brady Norrish gave his side a 1-2 lead on 28.27, before J.D Dudek finished a well worked move to make it 1-3 at 29.50.

Despite losing their last seven and 15 of their past 16 games, the Panthers fought back well and recent signing Anthony Luciani was on hand to cut the deficit to one on the powerplay at 33.18.

The score remained that way until the dangerous Mathieu Lemay found an equaliser on a delayed penalty at 47.17.

Lemay then bagged his team leading 15th of the regular season on the powerplay to give the Panthers their first lead of the night at 48.49.

It was a lead Nottingham couldn’t keep hold of as Alessio Luciani tied things again with 8.01 to play.   

As has become common for Coventry, the game went to overtime and eventually a shoot-out where Danny Kristo and J.D. Dudek were successful to give Blaze a 11th overtime victory this season.

Photo credit: Panthers Images