Stewart: Panthers rout our best performance of the year

Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart believes Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Nottingham Panthers was his team’s best performance of the season.

Blaze had lost 4-1 at Nottingham the previous night, but bounced back on home ice with a power-packed display to keep their Elite League play-off hopes alive.

“From Stewy (Brian Stewart) out, we defended well and we looked dangerous every time we entered the zone,” said Stewart.

“That’s not just from tonight, it builds up from a good performance in Braehead and we played well in Nottingham on Saturday.

“The results didn’t go our way. but we had a bit of luck go our way on Sunday and guys put the puck in the net.

“I felt we deserved better on Saturday – I feel for the guys as they played as well as they have in quite a while.

“We were unfortunate to come out of the first 0-0, as I thought we had more than a few great chances to capitalise.

“We hit three posts and just could not find a way past (Miika) Wiikman. I think if we score first we are looking at a different result, but credit to them as they capitalised on two mistakes in the second and that essentially was the difference.”

Sunday’s victory left Blaze one point behind eighth-placed Dundee Stars and three adrift of Manchester Storm in seventh.

With both teams having games in hand on Blaze, Stewart says Tuesday’s home clash with Edinburgh Capitals is one they must win.

“We have to create our own atmosphere on the ice, and hopefully the fans will again come out in large numbers,” he added.

“It’s a play-off game for us – it’s Edinburgh, who have a few games in hand on us.

“Winning the game on Tuesday allows us to push them eight points behind us – not only that but we have to find a way to move closer to the teams above us.”

(Image permission: Scott Wiggins)

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