Coventry Blaze were short of two players for their table topping clash with the Nottingham Players at the Skydome tonight. One had had his appendix out. The other had an accident on the ice, the team doctor came on to help him, fell over and broke his arm.
Even so, Blaze won 6-4 after some nervous moments. Face off was delayed by 10 minutes to suit Sky, although as this was a recording it was not clear why. The National Anthem was sung by Coventry Cathedral choir.
Blaze started hesitantly, tending to yield a third of the ice and the visitors went ahead. Then a fight between 'Soupy' Campbell and Quebecker charm merchant Dominic D'Amour seemed to energise the home side. By the end of the first period they were 4-2 ahead. I cannot remember six goals being scored so quickly.
When Blaze went 5-2 ahead in the second period it looked like game over. But Panthers made a storming start to the third and clawed their way back to 5-4, aided by some penalties against Blaze players. Blaze net minder Hirsch made some great saves and eventually a Panther was sin binned, allowing Blaze to score the clincher and maintain their title challenge.