Storm fall to the Blaze

primarystorm2015logo-1 Manchester Storm    4  –  5  Coventry Blaze AOTimages

Manchester Storm saw their overtime hoodoo continuing to haunt them this past Saturday night as they were defeated by the Coventry Blaze 5-4 in overtime at the Altrincham Ice Arena. Two goals by Barry Almeida including the overtime winner helped the Blaze to victory and moves the Midlands side within two points of their defeated opponents thanks to the win.

For almost half of the opening period of play it saw Manchester dominating and dictating the game their way and putting the Blaze under severe pressure from the off. Brian Stewart and the Coventry defence were forced to be switched on from the opening puck drop, as they had to repel shot after shot after shot from the Storm shooters.

Coventry have twice shutout the Storm already this season and with the way they played and protected the net, it wouldn’t have been a shock if they were able to make it a third time.

Manchester went on their second powerplay of the period as Ashley Tait collected a slashing call against him and yet again saw the Storm unable to register a goal with the extra man advantage. One thing has been a constant problem for Manchester this season has been the amount of times players have left the penalty box and jumped up on the play or had clear run on goal.

This time saw Tait leaving the box and found himself on a 2 on 1 break for the Blaze which was led by Robin Bergman skating down the left, before he then played in Tait who scored past Mike Clemente for the game opener at 8:09 to see the visitors ahead.

Coventry then turned the tables on the home side and saw them taking it to their hosts for the duration of the opening period, while Manchester were left dumbstruck and rattled by the Blaze goal that came really against the run of play.

The home side seemed to be in a state of shock and saw Manchester having another chance on the powerplay, but saw the highlight of it being Bergman skating circles at mid-ice much to the joy of Coventry fans and much to the frustration of the home side.

Dallas Ehrhardt then dropped the gloves with Garrett Klotz and saw both sitting for five minutes for fighting after the scrap, with the home side needing a spark from somewhere and the Storm man tried to ignited one for his side to get back in it.


Photos by Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography

Ross Venus then doubled the lead for the visitors at 17:16 in the first, when some slack defending saw Liam Stewart and Ashley Tait combining to see Tait firing a pass across the face of goal for Venus to turn in and put the Blaze 2-0 up and deservedly so.

Second period saw the home side getting on the board at 27:55, after Darian Dziurzynski quick release flew past Brian Stewart in the Coventry goals to see the home side trailing by a goal and get them back in the contest.

Coventry was still looking the better side in the contest and had Clemente needing to make some good stops to help his side staying in the game with the Blaze threatening to score again. Eventually they did and that goal came from Barry Almeida 35 seconds from the end of the second period to put the away side 3-1 up.


Photos by Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography

Manchester needed a big period if they were to turn this game around in their favour and after three previous powerplays coming to nothing for the Storm, it saw them finally making good on their extra man advantage as Darian Dziurzynski and Trevor Johnson set up Matt Bissonnette whose one time shot found the back of the net and made it 3-2 at 43:28.

Less than a minute later it saw the home side squaring the game up at 3-3 through Czech forward Patrik Valcak, as he fired home to have the building explode and put the Blaze back on their heel a bit for the first time in the game since they opened the scoring back in the first period of play.


Photos by Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography

Sadly for the hosts Robin Bergman then netted for the visitors to put them back in front for the second time in the game at 45:33 and see the hosts winded by the blow as they fell behind 4-3.

Storm yet again came back against their opponents, as this time Dallas Ehrhardt was the man to provide the goal that tied the game up at 4-4 and saw the game becoming one of a overtime feel as the game headed into the final few minutes.

With the scores tied after 60 entertaining minutes of hockey, it saw this back and forth contest heading to overtime to determine who would claim the extra league point.

Coventry needed only 39 seconds of the overtime period to take the victory in the game, as Almeida skated free at the back post to put home past Clemente and give the Blaze in truth a deserved win in which the Storm made far too many errors than normal and allowed the away side to cash in on them on.

Match Stats:

Manchester Storm: Patrik Valcak 1+1, Darian Dziurzynski 1+1, Dallas Ehrhardt 1+0, Matt Bissonnette 1+0, Trevor Johnson 0+3 Eric Neilson 0+1, Taylor Dickin 0+1

Coventry Blaze: Barry Almeida 2+0, Ashley Tait 1+1, Ross Venus 1+0, Robin Bergman 1+1, TJ Syner 0+2, J Jorgensen 0+1, Jordan Pietrus 0+1, Russ Cowley 0+1, Brett Robinson 0+1, Matt Marquardt 0+1, Liam Stewart 0+1

Shots on Goal : STORM 39  –  BLAZE 36 

Netminders :  

Mike Clemente  – Storm (31 Saves) 86.1%    –    Brian Stewart  – Blaze (35 Saves) 89.7%


Manchester  1-5  (20%)   Coventry  0-3 (0%)




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