Flames coach jokes they provided suspense for fans in Blaze win

Guildford coach Paul Dixon (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Guildford Flames coach Paul Dixon joked that his side gave the home crowd value for money after they held off a late Coventry Blaze fightback to win 5-4 in the Elite League on Saturday.

A four goal first period put the Flames on their way, with Ben Davies opening the scoring inside two minutes on the powerplay.

But after twice leading by three goals, they were pegged back by the Blaze before eventually clinging on to win by the odd goal in nine, and if you fancy them to repeat the win at home to Manchester on Saturday, check out this free bets list for UK fans.

Dixon said: “It was a home game, so we did an excellent job of offering late entertaining suspense for ticket buyers.

“If anyone went home feeling like they had been through a hydraulic press, they are not alone.  Certainly, when you get a great start like that you want to continue on through the night, but credit to Coventry they wouldn’t let us do that, and it was anyone’s game right to the end.

“We had lost a couple on the bounce at home so I think we felt even more pressure in the late stages to preserve this one and I can say without a doubt that we are delighted that we were able to hang on to the lead and pick up the points.”

Flames doubled their lead at 6:20 with an Ian Watters conversion on a close range Kruise Reddick delivery. Luke Ferrara replied on a Blaze extra man situation a little less than 2 minutes later to cut their deficit in half but a mid period Jamie Crooks powerplay goal re-stored the 2 goal spread and a TJ Foster follow up 42 seconds from period close had Spectrum’s men in a 4-1 lead at the break.

Less than five minutes after re-start Andrew Johnston clawed one back for Blaze. Jordan Rowley’s first goal in Flames colours had Flames back in a 3 goal cushion just beyond the game’s halfway mark, but Ferrara’s second of the evening at 36:09 cut the visitor’s work load to start the third.

Inside the back 10 minutes, Blaze pulled within a single when John Curran tapped in a Ross Venus pass.  A little over three minutes from time, pressure continued with Jordan Abt sitting a two minute minor and as the power play progressed Blaze added to their manpower differential by pulling their netminder, but Flames managed to escape the six on four stretch and the remainder of time with the slim margin in tact.

Guildford followed that win up with a 3-2 triumph over Fife Flyers on Sunday night.

Sheffield Steelers remain top of the Elite League table, bouncing back from Saturday’s home thumping against Cardiff by beating arch rivals Nottingham Panthers 3-1.

Belfast’s 4-1 win on the road in Dundee lifted them up to third, leapfrogging Glasgow Clan who were beaten 7-3 in Cardiff.

Manchester Storm are off the bottom of the table after registering their first four-point weekend of the season.

They beat new basement-dwellers Dundee Stars in Altrincham on Saturday night, before winning 4-1 on the road at Coventry on Sunday, which moves them within a point of the Blaze in the play-off places.

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