Five-Star Blaze keep playoff hopes alive

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze gave their post-season playoff hopes a major boost with a 0-5 victory against Cardiff Devils at Vindico Arena on Saturday.

Devils entered the fixture with second place secure, but Blaze had a lot to play for, beginning the penultimate match night of the regular season outside of the playoff positions.

The opening ten minutes were a cagey affair, but with former Devil Blake Thompson in the box for slashing, Swede Kim Tallberg gave the away side a 0-1 lead while shorthanded at 16.45 from Aidan Spellacy.

With the points all-important, Coventry continued to keep things tight defensively and looked to take their chances when they came.

At 35.38 mid-season returnee Johnny Curran did just that, converting past Great Britain International Ben Bowns to make it 0-2 following a turnover by the home side in their own defensive zone.

The hard-working Blaze then managed to score a third when Mitch Cook poked the puck home in close from Spellacy and Tallberg, who each collected their second point of the night at 37.13.

The much-needed victory was made secure on 49.19 when Alessio Luciani’s speculative effort found its way into the top corner of Bowns’ net on 49.19.

Top-scorer Kobe Roth put an exclamation mark on the sensational performance, scoring a fifth for Blaze with 2.13 remaining.

With a 34 shot shut-out Taran Kozun collected the Blaze man of the match award against his former side.

A win of any kind as Blaze host the Guildford Flames on Sunday at Skydome Arena (5.30pm) will see Coventry qualify for the post-season playoffs.

Photo credit: James Assinder


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