DEVILS HOLD OFF LATE SURGE FROM BLAZE
The Devils were back in action on Wednesday after barely recovering from their three games in three nights on the weekend in the Continental Cup. This was the re-scheduled Challenge Cup game in Coventry between the Blaze and the Devils.
Tyler Wall was in net for the Devils while former Devil Taran Kozun got the start for Coventry. The Devils were missing Cole Sanford who also missed Sunday’s game in Grenoble with a lower body injury and Chad Pietroniro who was a healthy scratch.
Sam Duggan was back in the lineup with his familiar linemates of Ben Davies and Riley Brandt, a line that was flying in the opening period for the Devils. Their energy paid off with the opening goal of the game with just over a minute to play in the period when Mark Richardson found Davies down low who touched the puck to Duggan for a quick shot that sizzled over the shoulder of Kozun to make it 1-0 at 18:50. Kozun was the busier of the two netminders as the Devils outshot the Blaze 11-7 in the first period.
The Devils were handed their first powerplay of the night when Alexander Kuqali was called for slashing at 25:17. Less than a minute later Joey Martin carried the puck into the Blaze zone and found Marcus Crawford who fired the puck across the ice to Trevor Cox, who fired it back to Josh Waller for the one-timer blast past Kozun to make it 2-0 at 26:12.
The Devils got another powerplay at 33:00 but the Blaze managed to kill it off and keep the Devils at bay for the rest of the period. The Devils completely dominated the second period, outshooting the Blaze 11-2 for a two period total of 22-9.
Ben Davies made it 3-0 when he tipped in a shot from Crawford that trickled through the legs of Kozun to make it 3-0 for the Devils at 45:49. Just when it looked like the Devils were cruising to an easy win, the Blaze scored two quick goals to get right back into the game. Nathan Ripley grabbed a rebound and beat Tyler Wall over his shoulder at 51:28 then Aidan Spellacy picked off a poor pass from the Devils’ defence and made it 3-2 at 53:41.
The Blaze pressed for the tying goal and had a late powerplay to try and even the score, but the Devils managed to kill it off. Then with Kozun pulled for the extra attacker, Joey Martin took a pass from Ryan Barrow and scored into the empty net to seal the 4-2 win for the Devils.
Photos are courtesy of Scott Wiggins