MAR 01] COVENTRY BLAZE NEWS
Peterborough Pirates 3
Coventry Blaze kept their play-off hopes well on track by cruising
past an unimaginative Peterborough side, despite some early scares.
this season, the Blaze have failed to get back on track if they have
fallen behind to the Pirates.
this time they retained their shape, fluidity and confidence to run
out smooth winners.
a 3-1 defeat away at champions Guildford on Saturday, it leaves Paul
Thompsonís side in a reasonable position in the play-off tables.
didn't look like it was going to be an easy win last night at the Skydome,
which was disappointingly empty, but had the largest paying crowd of
Pirates started well in an even opening period, and took the lead
through Mark Mackie during a powerplay.
feeling of gloom started to spread among the home fans seconds later
when a shot from Darren Cotton sneaked past Barry Hollyhead, who had
a good game, but was slow on that occasion.
were unable to get as many shots on goal as they are accustomed to
in the opening period, until Steve Chartrand showed his value once
again to bring his side back into the game.
bulldozing run from goal-to-goal didnít get anywhere, but the
captain scored Blazeís first with a superb run and a one-two with
Dumas while Coventry were short-handed.
long-awaited dream line-up of Dumas, Ruggles and Chartrand were
flying, and Ruggles scored the home teamís second goal with a
dazzling solo run within a minute of the opener to put the teams on
rare mistake by Stephen Cooper let Jamieson in for the Piratesí
third, but the first period ended on level pegging after Johnson
bundled a goal home.
second period was like chess, but more physical. GB international
Shaun Johnson took a nasty blow from the puck, and for a while it
looked as if the Blaze would have more injuries to contend with Ė
as Samuelsson, Knights and Twaite were already missing.
and Shewan both made good runs, Hollyhead was forced into several
saves and Pease had to make some good tackles in defence, as the
Blaze failed to cut loose.
the Pirates were slowly starting to lose the initiative could be
seen by number of heavy body checks they made, and Raitanen started
to come under a volley of fire in the Peterborough goal.
were edging up when Dumas scored a classic poacherís goal off a
rebound from a Shewan shot during a power play to give Blaze the
lead for the first time.
the third period Raitanen was called into action time after time as
the Blaze tried to get that important two goal lead.
Chartrand scored the fifth on 44.09, the relief was obvious among
the whole team, and the Blazeís confidence moved up another notch.
sixth goal came, after a good tackle by Pease and more splendid
vision by Chartrand set Dumas up, and Coventry were jubilant.
this stage, Peterborough had no answers, and rarely went for the
puck as they tried to barge the Blaze into submission.
tactic merely gave the Blaze the platform on which to show off their
skills, as player after player coasted around the floundering
were no more goals, but the Blaze reigned supreme. If they can
repeat that performance at Peterborough next weekend, and get
something out of Guildford when the Surrey side come to the Skydome
on Saturday, the semi-finals could well be beckoning.
on goal: 38-18
Dumas 2+2; Chartrand 2+1; Johnson 1+1; Ruggles 1+0; Shewan 0+2;
Cooper 0+1; Kelham 0+1; Soderstrom 0+1.
Net - Hollyhead 18/3
D.Cotton 1+0; Jamieson 1+0; Mackie 1+0; McEwen 0+2; Markus 0+1;
Morgan 0+1; Pallister 0+1. Net
- Raitanen 38/6