MAR 01] COVENTRY BLAZE NEWS
Peterborough Pirates 5
Blaze 4 (OT)
stormy encounter at Peterborough ended with a nail-biting climax
that left Coventry Blaze’s season hanging by a thread.
game, as ever when the Pirates are involved, was physical, and mired
a noisy cauldron such as the Pirates’ rink, any tight game is
bound to be tense, and officials are bound to make mistakes.
the loss of captain Steve Chartrand, sent off during the second
period, convinced the away fans that officialdom was conniving
against them once again.
Chris Jamieson, again proving a thorn in the Blaze’s side, broke
clear, he was caught by Chartrand, and went tumbling to the floor
like a sack of potatoes.
he managed to lose both his gloves and his helmet as he sank to the
ice could have gained him points for artistic merit, but it brought
the Pirates a much greater prize.
Blaze, trailing 2-0 at this point thanks to goals by Jamieson and
Shields, were stunned that the talismanic Chartrand was given more
than a two minute penalty, and couldn’t believe it when he
received a game penalty.
in a way it proved the wake up call, as the whole team began to
contribute. Jon Cotton’s third for Peterborough after the Pirates
laid siege to the Blaze goal saw the beginnings of an inspired
there are goals, there’s hope, and Tasker tucked in one shot after
Ratianen spilled a shot from Watkins.
Raitanen was solid, and with Newman performing impressively, the
Pirates defence looked like it would hold.
style started to return to the Blaze, as the impressive Soderstrom
rode several tackles, to get close before Ruggles scored the second
goal, as he and Dumas scooped up the pieces from Cooper’s shot.
into the third period, the stage was set for a humdinger of a match.
Coach Paul Thompson emerged from the dressing room to encourage the
loud travelling contingent to keep behind their team.
barmy army went beserk following a bright start as AJ Kelham drew
the game level with by scrambling the puck into the net.
and Shewan went close, but the Blaze twice gave the puck away
dangerously close to the goal. Henrik Sjodin was called into action
to make several good saves.
the Blaze were dominant. The game was smooth flowing, which suited
their skill, and Kelham scored again to give Blaze the lead for the
first time, with just over six minutes to go.
continued, as the Pirates took a face-off with too many out-players.
Instead of receiving a penalty, the referee merely re-took the
face-off, much to the ire of the Coventry fans.
pressure grew, both sets of fans got louder and louder and the Blaze
spent a lot of time defending.
looked like they were going to nick a win that would give them a
strong foothold in the semi-final of the play-offs, but with less
than a minute remaining an gap appeared around the clustered goal,
and Markus scored to level the game.
overtime, and Peterborough, boosted by a powerplay, continued to
rain in on the Blaze goal, and scored a winner on 61.42.
goal was soft, as Darren Cotton skated round the net and tucked it
past the desperately flailing Sjodin.
goal-keeping has been the bane of the Blaze’s season, and they
must now rely on others to slip up to get through.
Coventry can beat Milton Keynes twice this coming weekend, they must
hope that Peterborough do not get two points from two games against
Guildford. If the Pirates show the spirit of yesterday, the
Blaze’s season will end.
scores : 1-0/2-2/1-2/1-0
minutes : 20-41
on goal : 36-45
: Michael Evans
: Jamieson 1+2; D.Cotton 1+1; Shields 1+1; J.Cotton 1+0; Markus 1+0;
McEwen 0+2; Mackie 0+1; Morgan 0+1; Pallister 0+1.
Net - Raitanen 45/4
: Kelham 2+1; Tasker 1+2; Ruggles 1+0; Cooper 0+2; Dumas 0+1;
Knights 0+1; Watkins 0+1. Net
- Sjodin 36/5