BLAZE coach Chuck Weber reserved special praise for goaltender Brian Stewart after the 2-1 shoot-out win over Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome.
Jakub Sindel secured both points for Blaze with the 24th penalty shot after team-mate Jereme Tendler and Panthers’ Chris Lawrence had been successful.
Robert Farmer had given Panthers the lead but Ben Arnt levelled just before the half-hour mark with his 11th marker of the season before a shoot-out was required.
Stewart, who has been outstanding all season, made 36 saves and was solid in the shoot-out to deservedly pick up the man of the match accolade.
“I can’t say enough about Stewie – he made a lot of big saves for us,” said Weber.
“He didn’t have to be as spectacular as other nights but I could not be more happy to get a win for him as he has given the guys so many chances to get the win.”
Blaze remain second from bottom in the Elite League table but Weber is hoping is can prove to be a great building block for the club.
He added: “We did a good job staying out of the box but we did a great job on the PK when we had to against a very talented team and I also liked our puck movement on the powerplay.
“That was a long shoot-out! It was my first overtime and first shoot-out. I have not really seen the guys in that situation before, although Ben Arnt has had a penalty shot.
“I talked with Steve Goertzen, Ashley Tait and a few other guys, Tendler came up with a world-class goal to keep us in it and Sindel had a nice finish too. Hopefully we can start getting some wins now.”
Blaze will face Braehead Clan in the Challenge Cup quarter-final later this month.
Hull Stingrays’ 3-2 defeat to Cardiff Devils at Hull Arena at the weekend means Blaze progressed from Group B to meet Ryan Finnerty’s side.
Blaze, who won the competition in 2004/05 and 2006/07, will take on Clan in the first leg at the Skydome on January 14 (7.30pm face-off) with the return in Glasgow on January 21.
Ben Arnt celebrates scoring the Blaze goal during regulation against Nottingham Panthers. (s) Photo by Scott Wiggins