Dudek leads Blaze past Clan

American forward J.D. Dudek scored twice to help the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze beat the Glasgow Clan 4-3 in overtime at Skydome Arena on Valentine’s night.

Blaze, who snapped a three-game losing streak, welcomed back David Clements after the defenceman helped Great Britain move onto the Final Qualifying stage for the Winter Olympics this weekend.

However, they were without Johnny Curran, who also played in the tournament, James Shearer, and Jack Hopkins through injury.

The Clan, now on a five-game winless run and outside of the playoff positions, were bolstered by the return of GB forward Robert Lachowicz and Canadian defenceman Stephen Desrocher who made his debut after recently being released by Fife Flyers.

Another recent signing, Kevin Lindskoug was tested early in the Glasgow goal, and he made several strong saves to prevent Coventry from going ahead within the first ten minutes.

The enigmatic Swede’s efforts were rewarded when the away side took a fortunate 0-1 lead on 15.50 when Luke Lynch’s effort took a wild deflection off a Blaze skate and found the back of the net.

Coventry continued to put pressure on Lindskoug’s net and deservedly scored an equaliser with 55 seconds remaining in the first period.

Defenceman Alexander Kuqali was the beneficiary of a scrambled play, with Ian McNulty collecting an assist for his team leading 36th point of the season.

Glasgow regained their lead when their top scorer Gary Haden bagged his 19th goal of the season on a backhand in-close 1.33 into the second period.

16 seconds after the half-way mark, Blaze were level again thanks to a highlight reel goal from the J.D. Dudek who controlled a bouncing puck, deked his defenceman, and then undressed the Clan goalie in tight.

Blaze were unlucky not to go ahead in the final couple minutes of period two as they hit posts twice on a powerplay.

Coventry managed to take their first lead at 45.28 when after hard work along the boards Mitch Cook’s shot found its way into the Glasgow goal for 3-2.

With 46 seconds remaining, Lindskoug was pulled for the extra skater and Desrocher made himself an instant Clan hero scoring the game-tying goal to send the fixture to overtime.

It was the fifth consecutive time that the two teams have needed additional time to settle a fixture, and it was Coventry who were to find a winner on the powerplay through Dudek’s second.

The victory was Blaze’s 12th of the season in overtime or penalties and keeps them in close contention of the league’s top three.

Photo credit Scott Wiggins



Next home fixtures

Error: Call to undefined function display_latest_coventry_blaze_matches()