Flyers late show stuns Blaze

The Fife Flyers left it late to stun the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze and take a 3-4 overtime victory from Skydome Arena on Saturday.  

Coventry got off to a perfect start when American J.D. Dudek circled the net before shooting to score in a second game running after just 20 seconds.

The home side couldn’t use that early momentum to extend their lead and they were made to pay at 14.14 when Benjamin Hawerchuk took advantage of a breakdown on a Coventry powerplay to score for the Flyers short-handed.

Fife had a powerplay of their own to end the period and looked dangerous, but the Blaze powerplay and goalie Taran Kozun dug deep to send the teams to the locker room level at one after 20 minutes.

There was little to choose between the two teams for much of the second period. But at 37.11 Danny Kristo was able to make up for Blaze’s earlier powerplay mishap by generating his own scoring chance and converting past Shane Owen.

The strike was the American’s fifth of the season and 14th point which leads all players in the Elite League.

With 13.24 remaining Coventry appeared to take control of the game on a fortunate play which made it 3-1.

Defenceman Alexander Kuqali, who returned to the line-up following injury, threw a back hand effort at net which bounced up into the air, off Owen and back into his net via a ricochet off Alessio Luciani.

The Flyers didn’t give up, though, and with 8.55 left made it a one goal game again as Johan Eriksson converted Kyle Osterberg’s smart pass in close on Kozun.

Owen was pulled for the extra skater in the final minute and it paid dividends for Fife as Troy Lajeunesse was left in space and found the equaliser with a just a couple of seconds left on the clock.

In overtime Kim Tallberg had a golden opportunity to win it for Coventry but after the Swede’s effort went wide, the visitors took full advantage by finding an unexpected winner of their own through Colin Shirley at 61.54.