MATCH REPORT: Manchester Storm 6 - 4 Coventry Blaze


Tickets for Storm’s upcoming EIHL game against Glasgow Clan can be purchased HERE, or by calling the Box Office on 0161 926 8782. Face-off is at 17:30 Sunday 6th October.

The Goodwin Group Manchester Storm produced a battling road performance against Coventry Blaze, but a few costly errors were ultimately their downfall as they fell 6-4.

The opening phases of the game were controlled by the hosts, with a number of good scoring chances turned aside by Matt Ginn. However, a minor slashing penalty on Puskarich would prove costly for the Storm. An outstanding powerplay from Coventry was eventually converted by Laakkonen at 6:41, with the assists going to Bloodoff and Corcoran. A defensive error from the Blaze nearly cost them when a loose pass landed on the stick of Critchlow in the slot, but his effort was somehow kept out.

A few minutes later, the Storm drew level, courtesy of a sensational piece of work from Ulmer. The  forward received a well-judged saucer pass from Thompson from just inside the blueline, before undressing the defence and rounding the goaltender. The parity lasted just three minutes, as a delayed penalty goal from the hosts restored their one-goal advantage. A calamitous error from the Storm defence gifted Ferrara the puck, on the edge of the crease, his wrist shot doubling the hosts lead at 16:28. This enthralling first period would spring another surprise when another defensive mistake, this time from the Blaze, coughed up the puck to Aulin. The experienced forward turned on the jets and worked the 2on1 perfectly, his pass finding Puskarich whose shot brought the Storm back into proceedings with just 10 seconds remaining.

The second period of play started significantly slower than the first, as goal-scoring chances were at a premium for both sides. A bright first shift of the game from Ulrick nearly brought the visitors level, but his effort was turned aside by Phillips. Back-to-back minor penalties on Balmer and Ulmer strained Storm’s PK unit, but a hands-up play from Critchlow forced a turnover, who played a two-zone pass to Fawcett. This precision pass sent the forward through 1on1 and his forehand-backhand move tied things up at 29:11, as the visitors scored short-handed. The second half of the period was punctuated with several minor penalties and the free-flowing action was supressed.

The final period of play saw the return of the non-stop attacking action and it would be the Blaze that went ahead for the fourth time in the game. A costly error from the Storm PP unit allowed Venus to skate in on goal unaffected with a backhand finish. The Storm were back on level terms less than two minutes later, when a good play from Puskarich found Finlay Ulrick on the doorstep, with the latter scoring his first professional goal.

The 4-4 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game as the game entered the final ten minutes of play. However, a miss from Hughesman via 1on1 would be the last real scoring chance for the Storm in the 51st minute. A speculative effort from Pohlkamp somehow evaded everybody from the face-off win and decisively sent the Blaze ahead.

The Storm pulled Matt Ginn at 58:15, in search of the game-levelling goal, but just seven seconds after the Blaze would fire into the vacant goal.

Tickets for Storm’s upcoming EIHL game against Glasgow Clan can be purchased HERE, or by calling the Box Office on 0161 926 8782. Face-off is at 17:30 Sunday 6th October