Elite Ice Hockey League


COVENTRY BLAZE 4 (after overtime)

MATT Beca's overtime winner proved the difference as Glasgow Clan showed great character in coming from two goals down at one point to claim victory over Coventry Blaze.

It was the Clan No 26's second goal of the season - the first also coming against Coventry three weeks ago - and it lifted the arena after two straight losses to Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants.

Regardless, it was a game that could have gone either way as both sides showed good scoring, but when it came to the crunch, Glasgow Clan stepped up to take their chance.

Although Clan had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, the visitors opened the scoring after a tad over three and a half minutes when Alex Nikiforuk tucked away a rebound on the powerplay.

Pete Russell's side got themselves on the board roughly 10 minutes later on the powerplay when Scott Pitt finished at the back post to level.

But parity lasted barely a minute when Kelin Ainsworth struck to restore Coventry's lead and Blaze were in front again by the end of the first period.

Soon, they had opened the lead up by two goals when Tim Crowder set up Chris Joyaux for Blaze's third as they looked to gain control of the game.

Clan were in mood to easily let two points slip through their fingers after losing three of their last four so the comeback began as Brendan Connolly cut Coventry's lead to one, popping the puck past Miika Wiikman in the Blaze goal.

Then the equaliser came on the powerplay as Nicolai Bryhnisveen sat for interference, with Pitt nabbing his second of the game, sweeping in on a rebound.

However Danny Stewart's men were ahead again by the end of the second as Justin Hache netted with the Blaze on a man advantage as Travis Ehrhardt sat for interference.

Although Coventry were in front again, Clan were far from out of it and the fans perched themselves closer to the edge of their seats when the home side equalised again.

There was seven and a half minutes to go when Josh Gratton scored on the powerplay to level the game at 4-4, setting up a grandstand finish.

The extra period only lasted 26 seconds when Beca struck to tip the balance in Clan's favour as both teams meet again at the Skydome tomorrow night.