SKIPPER Ashley Tait remains confident that Blaze can soon turn things around after tasting back-to-back 5-0 defeats in the Elite League.Coventry Blaze skipper still has eyes on Elite League play-off
It was a weekend to forget for Blaze fans after they were thumped twice by Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils.
Friday’s 5-0 defeat in Nottingham Panthers was followed by another heavy defeat by the same scoreline at home to Cardiff Devils on Sunday which leaves Blaze outside the play-off places in the league table.
They are just a point behind nearest rivals Edinburgh Capitals and only five adrift of Fife Flyers in sixth spot.
“We are all conscious of the situation we are in,” said Tait. “It is just not happening for us at the moment but the guys care and we are trying to address it.
“Our main goal right now is to make the play-offs and we are confident of doing that. There is a lot of hockey left – it is very tight and it is not all doom and gloom.
“We have not been good enough and we need to turn things around. You cannot change what has happened but we feel what is in front of us is achievable and we are working towards that.
“”It is the business end of the season and it does not matter how you get the win. We just need to take it from here until the end of March and try to peak at the right time.”
Former Blaze forward Robert Farmer put Panthers ahead on Friday before Evan Mosey added a second with a short-handed marker just nine seconds before the end of the first period.
Farmer extended Panthers’ advantage and then fought with Blaze forward Ryan O’Marra, who was also ejected for kneeing.
Brandon Benedict, on a five-on-three powerplay, and Guillaume Doucet added final-period goals and Panthers goaltender Craig Kowalski made 29 saves as Blaze were shut-out for only the second time this season.
Chuck Weber’s side were hoping to bounce back at the Skydome on Sunday night but they failed to find the net once again after being without Derek Lee through injury and the suspended Ryan O’Marra.
Tyson Marsh’s go-ahead goal proved the difference in the first period before player-coach Andrew Lord and Doug Clarkson added middle-session markers.
Trevor Hendrikx extended Devils’ advantage 33 seconds into the final period before Clarkson and Blaze defenceman Craig Cescon dropped the gloves and received fighting majors.
And Marsh’s second of the night gave Devils a fifth as Blaze were blanked for the third time this season.
Jakub Sindel fails to find a way through against Cardiff Devils. (s) Photo by Scott Wiggins
Brian Steward makes a save. (s) Photo by Brian Steward