MAR 01] COVENTRY BLAZE REPORT
Keynes Kings 2
Coventry Blaze 4
Despite a strong fight back by the Coventry Blaze, the result in the
other result went against them, and their play-off hopes and season
Dr Jekyll and My
Hyde were icing for the Coventry in Milton Keynes tonight as the
team showed flashes of brilliance punctuated by grotesque lapses.
The large, and
hoarse travelling contingent had one ear glued to an array of mobile
phones: if Guildford were to abandon their winning run, Peterborough
would go through regardless of the result against the Kings.
The fans left the
arena believing that Guildford had the match safe. But the Pirates
fought back to win after overtime for the third game in a row, and
their penalties win puts Coventry out of the play-offs.
Coventry knew they
had to beat bottom-placed Milton Keynes to stand a chance, and it
wasn’t all plain sailing, despite the assault on goal from the
Ruggles, Kelham and
Watkins all went near without looking really convincing before the
Kings opened the scoring in the 7th minute.
It was a goal
typical for the Blaze to concede. A solid attack by the Blaze led to
a quick Kings breakaway, and Clarke found himself in oceans of
He hit a hard and
high shot, which sailed into the top right corner of the net, but
Barry Hollyhead in goal should have made a better fist of stopping
The game became
tense: despite Coventry’s superiority they couldn’t get a
telling shot in and Lindsay, playing his last game, made save after
save in the Milton Keynes goal.
For their part, the
Kings seemed happy to drift anything in near Hollyhead in case
something unexpected happened. Some shots were rebounding so far off
him that the Blaze defence were stranded in a no-man’s land,
unable to protect their keeper.
Mistakes by the top
players didn’t help. Even Cooper made a daft error to let the
Kings through, and Kelham and Ruggles both played as if they butter
on their sticks one minute, before flying off on a dazzling run.
The sprit was
there, Ruggles even making some tackles and Shewan blasting in shot
after shot on the beleagured Lindsay. But it took a long time for an
equaliser to come, when Johnson snatched a rebound following shots
from Dumas and Tasker.
to impress to keep the Blaze in the game. He and Cooper managed to
block a three-pronged Kings attack and the away fans started
chanting his name.
Then, it was the
Kings fans’ turn to laud Hollyhead, as a simple shot slithered
past him. Whoever scored it did well enough, but won’t be credited
until Milton Keynes do something about the dreadful state of their
public address system – getting accurate information about the
goals or penalties requires sonar ears if you are in the away
sinking, but the Blaze carried on, and in the 47th minute struck
twice to decimate the opposition.
Cometh the hour,
cometh Dumas, and one of his mazy runs around his former team-mates
saw a class goal bring the scores level.
later a cross from Cooper from the right swung across the face of
goal to be met by Kelham at the far post
faithful weren’t impressed by the way their team had surrendered
the lead, and started chanting “what a waste of money”.
With 90 seconds
remaining, the Kings pulled their netminder and with six out-players
managed to put intense pressure on the Blaze.
lost the puck and Dumas got to the halfway line before unleashing a
shot-come-clearance that trickled into the goal, and made the result
won’t mean anything, but it will be the last home match of the
season. Unshackled from the tension of the play-offs, expect the
team to make a final point to their growing legion of fans.
Shots on goal:
Kings: Clarke &
Hazlehurst 1+0; Howard & Poole 0+1.
Net - Lindsay (58:40) 44/3; empty net (1:20) 1/1
Dumas 2+1; Johnson & Kelham 1+0; Chartrand, Cooper, Hollyhead
& Tasker 0+1. Net -
[16 MAR 01] BLAZE FACE BATTLE
TO STAY IN THE PLAY-OFFS