Coventry Blaze 5-4 Nottingham Panthers
Coventry Blaze added Nottingham to their list of home post-Christmas victories, getting the better of the Panthers by the odd goal in nine to move into the playoff places.
The Blaze raced into a two-goal advantage inside the opening four minutes to get off to a great start – Alex Nikiforuk opened the scoring at 2:48, and Tim Crowder followed up 1:12 later to give the hosts a healthy lead.
With 1:17 gone in the middle period Marek Tvrdon pulled a gaol back for the Panthers, but by 5:49 Shawn Pauly struck to put the Blaze back up by a pair. Dylan Richard’s effort at 7:53 brought the score back to 3-2, and with only five seconds left in the period Brett Perlini made it a tied score.
The Blaze however regained their lead at 52:07 thanks to Luke Ferrara, but again the Panthers were to come back and level things up, Alex Guptill this time the scorer with just under six minutes to go. However the Blaze were not to be denied their win, and Ross Venus popped up with 2:59 to go to score what would be the winning goal.
Game photos (Scott Wiggins):