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Flames win in OT as Blaze denied late winner

Photo: John Uwins

Coventry Blaze picked up a big point in the race for the playoffs, but will be left wondering how it wasn't two after conceding late and then in overtime against Guildford Flames.

Guildford were in control of the opening phases of the game and it was no surprise when they took an early lead. Good speed and hands from Matt Alvaro saw him drive the neat and beat Taran Kozun to open the scoring with 4:02 played. The Flames should have doubled their lead on an Ian McNulty Hooking minor called 38 seconds later but the game stayed with just a goal between the teams. As Coventry slowly found their feet in the game, Alexander Kuqali beat Taz Burman through traffic to tie the game 2:15 before the break.

After a scoreless middle period, the Blaze took the lead early in the third when a loose puck rolled onto the stick of Johnny Curran to put them ahead at 41:52. As the period draw on, the Blaze began to soak up more and more Flames pressure as they looked to hold onto the two points. Their resistance was eventually broken with 6:01 to play when Kyle Locke’s shot from the point was tipped in front by Ryan Tait to beat Kozun.

If Coventry miss out on a playoff place by a point come the end of the season, they could likely point the blame firmly at Taz Burman. The Flames goalie made an incredible point-blank save to deny Brady Norrish winning the game with less than 10 seconds left on the clock in regulation.

Alessio Luciani had a half-chance in overtime that was stopped by a diving Locke play to cut out the pass, while the Flames then won it with Ben O’Connor’s wrist shot in the slot just 42 seconds before the OT buzzer.

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