Coventry Blaze fall short in search of four-point weekend - The Rugby Observer

Coventry Blaze fall short in search of four-point weekend

Rugby Editorial 12th Jan, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

BLAZE were unable to make it a four-point weekend as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Sheffield Steelers at the Skydome on Sunday night.

Jakub Sindel fired a third-period winner as Blaze claimed a fantastic 5-4 victory at Cardiff Devils in the Elite League on Saturday.

But Chuck Weber’s side fell to a narrow defeat the following evening and the American coach feels the absence of Ryan O’Marra through injury was a big factor.

He said: “We exhausted a lot of energy in Cardiff and I felt we were chasing Sheffield all night.

“We need more focus with our tracking and also need to improve our face-offs which killed us – they won about 80 per cent of the face-offs which meant we were chasing a lot.

“Ryan being out hurt did not help because he is important to us in the draw and he gives us a lot of valuable minutes.

“If you said we would pick up two wins out of three going into the Nottingham game we would have taken it but we have put ourselves in a situation where we need to be winning more.”

Blaze bought Cardiff’s nine-match winning run to an abrupt end as they began the weekend with a superb victory in Wales on Saturday.

Goals from Andrew Hotham and Joey Haddad had put Devils 2-0 in front against Blaze on Saturday evening before Sindel pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Brent Walton made it 3-1 but quick-fire strikes from Cale Tanaka and Craig Cescon hauled Blaze level.

Carl Hudson and Blaze’s O’Marra traded goals before man-of-the-match Sindel’s second won it for Blaze who secured back-to-back victories for the first time since September Blaze have secured back-to-back victories as they brought Devils’ nine-match winning streak to an end.

Blaze were unable to record their third consecutive win the following evening as they left it too late against Sheffield Steelers.

The hosts went ahead through Ben Arnt’s 12th goal of the season but Steelers hit back to lead 2-1 at the end of the first period with goals from Mathieu Roy and Robert Dowd.

Jeff Legue extended Steelers’ advantage and although Steve Goertzen pulled one back with 70 seconds remaining Blaze were unable to find a game-tying goal.

Blaze remain ninth in the table ahead of this Friday’s trip to Nottingham Panthers.

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