Canadian forward Ian McNulty was the hero as the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze came from behind to beat the Cardiff Devils 3-2 in a shoot-out at Skydome Arena on Sunday.
All three of McNulty’s strikes held significance, his first on the powerplay at 20.21 was for charity as those in attendance supported the Blaze’s Air the Bear initiative.
When the puck hit the net, hundreds of teddy bears and soft toys were thrown onto the ice in support of Free Radio’s Mission Christmas.
That joy was short-lived as the Devils turned the game around with a pair of goals in ten minutes.
Riley Brandt tied the game 1-1 from Evan Mosey’s pass across the slot before stand-out defenceman Justin Crandall put the visitors ahead with 77 seconds left before the intermission.
Chasing an equaliser, Blaze pulled former Cardiff goalie Taran Kozun for the additional skater and Jamie Arniel had two attempts on the empty net but missed the target both times.
The Devils and Arniel would go on to regret their mishaps as McNulty’s second tied the game with 80 seconds remaining.
Neither side managed to win it in overtime, but in the shootout Kobe Roth, and J.D. Dudek scored in rounds one and three to put the Blaze up, and with Kozun blanking his former side it was left to McNulty to seal the win with Coventry’s fourth shot.
The victory was Blaze’s third on the bounce, while the Devils end the weekend point-less.
Photo credit: Scott Wiggins