Devils top Blaze in Boxing Day shootout

Another Boxing Day classic between the Coventry Blaze and the Cardiff Devils, with the Devils coming out on top in a hard-fought battle that needed 8 rounds of shots in the penalty shootout to decide a winner.

The Devils opened the scoring with back to back powerplay goals, first from Jake Morissette at 7:45 of the first period with Gleason Fournier and Joey Martin assisting on the goal to put the Devils up 1-0.  Then Matthew Myers made it 2-0 at 9:18 when Sean Bentivoglio fed him a perfect pass in front of the net with Andrew Hotham picking up the other assist on the play. The Blaze pulled a goal back at 13:04 when Brett Robinson beat Ben Bowns to make it 2-1, which is how the score remained after the opening 20 minutes of play.

The middle period saw the teams trade powerplay chances, but neither team could score with the man advantage.  The Blaze however found a way to tie the game at 23:53 when Ben Lake picked up a rebound to beat Bowns and make it 2-2.

The Devils took a 3-2 lead early into the 3rd period with their third powerplay goal of the night, a beauty of a play that saw Fournier drop the puck to Joey Martin, who fed it to Morissette as they entered the Blaze zone, then Morissette gave it back to Martin for a tap in past Kevin Nastiuk at 44:41.  The Devils got into penalty trouble midway through the third and eventually the Blaze equalised with Ryan Dingle scoring unassisted at 50:15 to tie the game at 3-3.

The game went into overtime and in the final minute, Andrew Hotham was called for hooking, giving the Blaze 56 seconds of 4 on 3 powerplay time to win the game, but the Devils penalty killing managed to keep the puck out of the net with an amazing glove save from Ben Bowns with a second left on the clock to send the game into a shootout.

The Blaze scored on their first shot with Ryan Dingle beating Bowns, but the Devils scored with their second shooter (Morissette) to tie the shootout.  No other scorers until Joey Haddad scored off the bar, then off the leg of Nastiuk, a goal that was reviewed by referee Tom Pering, but still given.  Then Dingle scored again, but Haddad made it two in a row with a low shot past Nastiuk setting up Ben Bowns to stop Marc Oliver-Vallerand to seal the win for the Devils.

 

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