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Blaze Hope To Extinguish Flames

Coventry Blaze face an uphill climb tonight as they try and make it to their first final of the season, and the face-off time has been moved to encourage fans to come and support them.

The team are hosting the Guildford Flames in the second leg semi-final of the ntl cup at Coventry Skydome.

And having lost the first leg 4-1, the players are facing their biggest challenge of the season if they are to make the final.

The away leg was the first without captain Steve Chartrand, and his team-mates had just discovered that his cut mouth had in fact resulted in a broken jaw, and he was facing an operation and a lengthy lay-off.

Chartrand’s absence has forced the team to reshape and get used to playing in a more defensive style.

Blaze operations director Grant Charman said the team has now adjusted, and has been boosted by two good wins over Slough at the weekend.

He said:

“Slough are a much better team than many people give them credit for. They are very physical and tough and they didn’t play badly.

“The two results gave a lot of confidence to the players that losing Steve wasn’t the end of the world.”

Tonight’s game, however, will be a much harder proposition as the defensively-minded Flames are likely to try and put the barriers up in the goal.

The face-off time has been moved to 8pm to encourage more people to come along.

Weekend games are purposefully held at 6pm to allow children to come along, but the mid-week games tend to attract an older audience.

Charman added:

“We haven’t got any promotions on tonight, but we are expecting to get a good crowd and it should be a fantastic atmosphere.

“It could be quite a chess match between the two coaches, but if we get an early goal it could rock the Flames.

“A three goal lead is nothing hockey and the game is not over yet. But it is a very big ask.”

If the game is level over the two legs after overtime, the tension will mount as the teams battle out five minutes of sudden death overtime.

If there is still no result then there is a penalty shoot-out – but again it is sudden death.

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CWN / Sport / Ice Hockey / Coventry Blaze / 17 Jan 01
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