A determined team effort on Saturday night in Coventry saw the Lions victorious 4-2 picking up a well-deserved 2 points. Having to dig deep with a 4-0 final period with the odds against them. It was nothing more than the Lions deserved having to battle the Blaze and at times some overzealous officiating.
With both of the weekend’s games immediately following an under 18’s game, some players found themselves with the prospect playing four games in two days.
In the absence of Stuart Parker, Adam Andrews wore the ‘C’ in the home of his former club. Tom Hovell returned in nets. One notable absentee was Ondrej Pniok.
It took only 38 seconds for Referee Anthony Decaux to stamp his authority on the game Adam Andrews going in the box for kneeing, following Coventry’s first attack. In the tenth minute, Blaze took the lead with Dan Thomason converting from Luke Smith’s rebound.
The rest of the period was uneventful despite two penalties against Jake Fisher and Robert Perks.
Another penalty on Max Bennett, 36 seconds in the middle session reduced Lions to three out skaters. Blaze scored their second on the resultant power-play. Arthur Brookes from Jordan Stokes and Luke Smith.
In the 23rd minute the Ref finally had his arm up for a Blaze penalty, but Jay McFayden and Kieran Raynor came together, gaining roughing penalties, with Lions losing their power-play opportunity, when the ref cancelled out the original offence.
At 26:40 a fight took place in front of the penalty bench which led to Cameron Pywell and Fraser Kerr given 5 minute fighting and game misconduct penalties, along with Luke Thomas, Dale Buckland, Rob Perks and Connor Keyes all 2+2 Roughing, with the latter two also 10 minute misconduct penalties each.
Six more penalties (three each) were awarded before the end of the period.
Luke Thomas grabbed a goal from the point with a low slap shot past the Blaze netminder, three minutes into the final period, assisted by Raynor and Ben Wood.
Nine minutes later, Rob Perks forced in a rebound off the netminders pads for Lions equaliser with the help of Connor Glossop and Samuel Jackson.
Within a minute and Lions took the lead, 18 year old Samuel Jackson with his second goal of the season, Connor Glossop once again with the assist.
An altercation between Glossop and Buckland resulted with both given 2+2 roughing and 10 minute misconduct penalties, Luke Smith complained too long and was given 10 plus a game misconduct penalty.
Coventry withdrew Graham Laverick for the extra out-skater but to no avail, Dan Hazeldine breaking away scoring on the empty net.