Blaze Out Of Knock Out Cup

Last updated : 14 January 2009 By PM at the Sky Dome
Knock Out Cup Holders Coventry Blaze were sent crashing out of the cup by Belfast Giants tonight.

A late walk up saw the crowd in the Sky Dome rise to 800 including eight visitors from Northern Ireland and sees them rise as one in the belief that Blaze could over-turn the 5-1 deficit sustained in last night's Knock Out Cup 1st leg.

Nine seconds in and few were still believing as Belfast took the lead through an unassisted Bobby Robins goal.

As the minutes tick by, the fans become increasingly anxious. The first fight starts on 8.51 and sees Blaze on a power kill with only three men on the ice.

Paul Thompson looks at the clock as the chances slip by and the first period ends with the Knock Out Cup Champions a goal down.

Never mind the £100m for Kaka, all the Blaze fans would prefer to see Neil Martin return.

Thompson shakes his head as the second period starts and another move breaks down. Two penalties against the Giants sees the Blaze 5 on 3 and 3.17 in, Adam Calder scores to give the Blaze hope.

But hope soon turns to despair as Ben O'Connor scores an own goal off his elbow on 26.33. Adam Calder misses a one on one as his scoring skates fail him and with six minutes left, only a power cut can save the Blaze now.

Carlyle Lewis continues to knock up more penalties than goals as the Blaze are again down to four men and concede another through George Awada on 35.19.

With Scott Kelman in the box for boarding, Coventry go 4-1 down thanks to a Paul Deniset goal with 22 seconds of the period left.

Built on a diet of winning, it's a hard pill for the Blaze to swallow being 9-2 on aggregate down. Steve Fone takes over as netminder and pulls off a double save two minutes into the third period.

Carlyle Lewis is given a game ban for fighting on 48.40 and is told by a number of fans not to come back but the Hockey gods are smile on the Blaze as a Giants goal is disallowed for kicking the puck.

Ben O'Connor gets beaten in a fight which sums up the night. Needing a goal a minute,the Blaze support drifts away.

Thompson's despair is clear for all to see as George Awada hit his second of the night on 56.27. Barrie Moore pulls one back ten seconds later but Thompson, who gets the man of the match vote for having the strength to change the net minder, does not move and the match ends in a 5-2 defeat.

On Saturday, Blaze are at home to Newcastle Vipers (Face off is at 7pm) and travel to Edinburgh on Sunday to play the Capitols (Face Off at 6pm)