Storm edge Blaze in Altrincham

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were beaten 3-1 in the Elite League by Manchester Storm in Altrincham on Friday.

Blaze were boosted by the return of Canadian defenceman James Shearer who had missed several weeks of action through injury.

The first period flew by with Blaze narrowly outshooting their opponents 8-11. But with both Evan Weninger and Taran Kozun in good form, it took until 21.30 for the first goal to be scored by Manchester’s Tyler Hinam via a re-direct from a Chase Harrison shot.

Coventry tied the game on a similarly direct play when Alexander Kuquali’s effort from the blue-line was deflected into the net by Kim Tallberg at 26.19.

With the two sides separated by just three points in the standings (Storm fifth and Blaze sixth), the intensity began to rise in the second half of the game.

The game winner came with less than five minutes remaining when Mitchell Martan’s attempted rebound was put into the net by Stephen Johnson from close range on 55.37.

Kozun was pulled by Blaze coach Danny Stewart for the extra skater in the final couple of minutes, but it was Manchester who were to the find the final goal of the game with Hinam registering his second into the empty net at 58.27.

Photo credit: Mark Ferris