A frozen ground is exactly what you want in ice hockey and the ice at the Skydome looked in good shape as we took our seats rinkside tonight, making use of our new half season tickets for the first time.
Unfortunately, Blaze made a lacklustre start, making a series of defensive errors allowing the visiting Newcastle Vipers to go 2-0 ahead in the first period. Casual play even nearly led to an own goal. This did not look like the team who recently became the first to score 800 goals on their home ice in the Elite League.
Home fans were enraged in the second period when the referee gave Robinson a five minutes plus game penalty for alleged use of the elbow giving the Vipers a 5 on 3. But it was the referee himself who headed down the tunnel minutes later to derisive jeers from the home fans. The game continued with two linos and Blaze scored two goals in quick succession to make it 2-2. Towards the end of the period the referee reappeared to a chorus of boos.
Blaze looked the sharpest in the third period and made it 3-2. Vipers then took off their net minder in one last throw of the dice, allowing Blaze to break and put the puck in the empty net in the dying seconds of the game to make it 4-2.