Winning streak continues for Coventry Blaze - The Rugby Observer

Winning streak continues for Coventry Blaze

Rugby Editorial 25th Feb, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

STEVEN Goertzen wants Blaze to take care of business and avoid more last-day drama in the Elite League.

Blaze secured a play-off place in their final game of the regular season in 2013/14 thanks to a 1-0 overtime victory over Cardiff Devils at the Skydome.

And with just three points now separating sixth-placed Fife Flyers from Edinburgh Capitals in ninth, the final five weeks of the season are sure to be full of twists and turns.

Blaze improved their chances of making the play-offs by securing a second consecutive four-point weekend thanks to wins over Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers.

It means Blaze have picked up 17 points out of a possible 18 in recent weeks as they continue to hunt down Fife.

Goertzen said: “Teams are fighting for the league title and teams are battling to make the play-offs so everyone has something to play for and will be playing desperate hockey and putting everything on the line. It is exciting for the fans and exciting for the players.

“We just need to take care of our own business and try to pull Fife and Hull in the mix and work our way up. I am pretty sure there will be last-game ramifications for the play-offs and league title but we just want to make sure we have qualified by then.”

Sunday’s 2-1 defeat over Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome was Blaze’s eighth win in nine league matches.

First-period markers from Ryan O’Marra and Ben Arnt handed the hosts a two-goal lead.

Max Parent pulled a goal back for Panthers just 63 seconds into the middle session but Blaze, with goaltender Brian Stewart making 41 saves, closed out the game are now level on points with Fife.

Head coach Chuck Weber added: “It was a great effort from the boys and we did a lot of good things.

“(Craig) Kowalski made a number of big saves but we are finding ways to win these close games, the boys are enjoying playing with a one-goal lead.

“We are 8-0-1 in the last nine games which is an incredible achievement and the boys deserve great credit for that.”

Vladimir Nikiforov made his home debut. (s) Photo by Scott Wiggins

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