Clan edge Blaze in Glasgow

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze had a hard-fought 4-2 loss on the road to Glasgow Clan on Friday in the Elite League.

Blaze welcomed back forward Johnny Curran who missed Wednesday’s home victory over Clan, but Danny Kristo was ruled out after sustaining an injury in that game. James Shearer and Jack Hopkins also remained out.

Clan were able to ice four forward lines with the return of Phillipe Sanche and they handed a home debut to goalie Kevin Lindskoug and defenceman Stephen Desrocher.

Disappointed by an overtime defeat in Coventry on Valentine’s night, Glasgow came out determined to avenge that result and they took a lead after just 21 seconds through Captain Dyson Stevenson.

Despite being outshot over the opening twenty, Blaze did manage to put the puck past Lindskoug but Kim Tallberg’s effort with just over four minutes remaining was ruled out due to it being scored with a high stick.

Clan’s Desrocher took the first penalty of the game at 21.55 and he could hardly return to the ice before Blaze scored an equaliser through their top point-scorer Ian McNulty.

The Canadian’s back-hand effort from close range was his 14th goal of the season and 37th point.

Glasgow thought they had regained the lead just before the 27th minute mark, but video review showed Blaze goalie Taran Kozun pulling off a miraculous diving save to drag the puck off the line.

Clan’s frustration was short-lived as they found a second goal just 12 seconds into their first powerplay of the evening through Gary Haden.

The goal was the Canadian’s tenth point against the Blaze this season (six goals, four assists) in six games.

With the clocking ticking down on the second period, Michael Pelech’s shot through traffic gave the Clan a 3-1 advantage (38.13) heading to the dressing room after 40 minutes.

Tyler Kirkup gave the Blaze hope at 53.41 and with Kozun pulled for the extra skater in the final minute, the equaliser so nearly came when Blaze Captain Brady Norrish fired the puck off Lindskoug’s post.

Coventry continued to put on the pressure but with 35 seconds remaining, Robert Lachowicz was able to steal a puck along the boards and fire into the empty net for a final score of 4-2.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Clan and was the first time in six games that overtime, or penalties wasn’t needed to separate the two sides.

Photo credit: Al Goold