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Coventry Blaze 1
Guildford Flames 4

A tale of three goalies decided this soulless encounter as Guildford continued their 2001 unbeaten run.

When Coventry Blaze are good they are excellent, and produced numerous chances in the first period.

On its day the team has the capacity to beat anyone, but once they start to fall behind heads seem to droop and the passion evaporates.

Kelham should have put the Blaze in the lead early after Dumas broke through the defensive ranks.

But it was a long-range effort from Guildford’s Jason Jennings that broke the deadlock after four minutes.

Guildford goalie Mark McArthur was pulling off save after save, but when he hit the puck out of the rink to give the Blaze a powerplay, Mike Shewan scored an equaliser.

Guildford took the lead again when Derek De Costy broke through a sleeping defence and tapped an easy goal in.

It didn’t get any better. Less than 30 seconds into the second period, Karry Biette shot in from the underside of the crossbar after Jennings sent De Costy clear to make the score 1-3 to the visitors.

And when David Smith scored Guildford’s fourth goal, Barry Hollyhead was pulled off and replaced by Henrik Sjodin.

Guildford showed the physical bite that the Blaze lack as they defended their lead. Tempers started to fray as the game got tougher.

Kelham was hit in the face with a stick, and Irvine was sent to the box three times for fighting before being ejected from the game, along with Guildford’s Scott Campbell as the pair continued a running spat.

Period scores: 1-2/0-2/0-0

Penalty minutes: 35-41

Shots on goal: 28-27

Attendance: 2011

Referee: Gary Plaistow

Blaze: Shewan 1+0; Chartrand 0+1; Dumas 0+1.  Nets - Hollyhead (35’02) 17/4; Sjodin (24’58) 10/0

Flames: Biette 1+1; DeCosty 1+1; Jennings 1+1; Smith 1+0; Chinn 0+1; Haig 0+1.  Net - McArthur 28/1
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CWN / Sport / Ice Hockey / Coventry Blaze / 12 Mar 01
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