Dixon keen for quieter night against Blaze

(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Guildford Flames coach Paul Dixon has joked he would take a single goal win over Coventry Blaze when the teams meet on Saturday.

The previous three meetings alone have yielded a whopping 36 goals and a penalty shootout as they prepare to go again at the Spectrum on Saturday.

And Dixon admits he’s a fan of the team Danny Stewart has at his disposal as Flames look to build on their Challenge Cup semi final first leg win over Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday.

“I’d be happy with a 1-0 win this time after the recent games with Coventry,” he laughed. “The last time they came to us, it was one of those freak games.

“On the night, we were 4-0 up then suddenly, we’re 7-5 down and you’re all over the place and you’ve managed to get a point from it.

“The Sunday game was much better.  It was close and we’ve had some good game with them.  I like Danny’s team and they’re capable of scoring goals, like we are.

“I’m sure, like myself, he’s hoping it’s not an 8-7 game again although he may like that in his favour, but I don’t want a scoreline like that again.”

Guildford are in pole position to reach their first ever cup final since joining the Elite League in the summer of 2017 after beating the Panthers 5-2 with an impressive display.

Flames won the first leg of their Challenge Cup tie with Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday (PHOTO: John Uwins)

Dixon reflected on that game and as he spoke of his delight that his team worked and grafted from beginning to end to get their fans dreaming of a trip to Cardiff in early March.

But he knows the job is nowhere near finished as they anticipate the second leg at the Motorpoint Arena on 14th February as they look to put the tie to bed.

He added: “We’re delighted obviously.  They’d come to our building three times and beat us every time until Wednesday night and it had to change at some point.

“With our team, if we play and compete for 60 minutes, we can give anyone a game and I feel that’s been missing in the last three or four weeks.

“It’s a difficult one in trying to dampen things at least for the next three weeks.  At Guildford, there has been success in the leagues we’ve been in and that expectation stays with you, no matter what.

“Moving into the Elite League, those expectations dropped and I don’t think anyone could see us making a run for a trophy so soon so we’ve really put ourselves in a great position.

“We’ve got games between now and the second leg, but I don’t see us changing anything for the next game with Panthers.

“We’re an offensive team so on the night, we’ll be very aware.  I’ve been around long enough to know that a three-goal lead can evaporate very quickly, but nothing’s taken for granted.

“There’s a lot of hockey left and we know things can change so we have to remain focussed on our jobs.  We’ve done well in previous visits to Nottingham and can take positives from those.”

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