Season starts with sensational come-back victory
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze began the 2019/20 Elite League campaign with an impressive 4-6 come-back victory against the Sheffield Steelers at the FlyDSA Arena.
Great Britain international Robert Dowd gave Sheffield an early lead (3.28) but as Blaze managed to do all night, they responded well with David Broll scoring for 1-1 at 7.46.
Anthony DeLuca, who was a constant threat for the home side made it 2-1 at 11.57, pulling a nice move to his forehand to beat Jamie Phillips in the Coventry goal.
Blaze got into penalty trouble in the second period, but it was whilst short-handed that an equaliser came through defenceman Justin Hamonic at 25.08.
On the powerplay a double from agitating forward Brendan Connolly made it a 4-2 game (25.51 and 27.25). The Canadian then clashing with Coventry’s David Clements and Evan Bloodoff as tensions began to rise.
After a couple of huge stops from Phillips on Marco Vallerand, a tip from a Justin Hache shot by Finn Janne Laakonnen gave the visitors life at 28.17 and the second period ended 4-3.
After two assists previously, centreman Andrew Johnston turned scorer to tie things at four, finishing superbly on a breakaway past Czech netminder Pavel Kantor with just over ten minutes remaining (49.32).
With an assist on the Johnston goal, Laakonen also completed an impressive three-point haul and was named Blaze man-of-the-match.
The game-winning-goal came on 52.07 with Charles Corcoran winning a battle in front of the net to score after strong work from Bloodoff.
After a lengthily review was concluded and a potential Steelers equaliser wiped out, newly named Blaze Captain Drew Schiestel shot from his own zone into an empty net to finish the scoring at 4-6 and wrap up a sensational opening night for Coventry.