COVENTRY, UK – Genting Casino Coventry Blaze moved a giant step closer to securing a Rapid Solicitors Elite League play-off place following a 4-3 victory over Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome.
Ryan Ginand’s 51st goal and 97th point of the season – as well as his ninth game-winning marker – earned Blaze a huge two points and lifted them into sixth, three ahead of ninth-placed Fife Flyers, with both teams having two games left.
Jonathan Boxill (11.41) and Blaze forward Russell Cowley (13.57) traded first-period goals before Kelsey Wilson hit a post on a short-handed breakaway for the home side.
Wilson did make it 2-1 at 31.05 but strikes from Leigh Salters (33.36) and Jonathan Weaver (37.08) saw Panthers lead once more only for Wilson (38.35) to tie it up at 3-3.
Ginand then struck his 16th powerplay marker of the season at 49.54 before Panthers defenceman Brent Henley was ejected on a 5+match penalty for cross-checking at 51.50.
Coach Marc LeFebvre said: “I was really pleased with the effort the guys put in and the way they battled from zero to 60 minutes.
“We got contributions from everyone tonight and you need that if you are going to win the play-offs. It was a total team effort.
“We are now in sixth place and back in the driving seat. It is down to us now. It’s going to be an exciting finish but we just have to control what the Coventry Blaze do.”