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Double blow for Blaze as skipper hurt in defeat; ELITE LEAGUE ICE HOCKEY.

Belfast Giants...............................4 Coventry Blaze ............................1 GENTING Casino Coventry Blaze continued their poor away form last night with a 4-1 defeat at champions Belfast.

With a string of tough games coming up, the most worrying thing about the evening was seeing captain and talisman Shea Guthrie being helped from the ice after being slashed by debutant Kevin Saurette, who was ejected.

Despite the resulting five-minute powerplay in the third period, Blaze couldn't get back on terms and saw another away game dribble away in frustrating fashion.

Paul Thompson's men had been chasing the game from early in the opening period when a Sam Roberts shot found its way through a crowd of bodies.

Brad Leeb levelled the affair in the 12th minute as a Giants penalty expired.

Noah Clarke put Belfast back in front from the slot after being set up by Roberts. And try as they might, Blaze couldn't get past the committed Belfast defence. They did force the puck over the line at the end of the second period, but only after the buzzer had gone.

Belfast were on the verge of being awarded a powerplay when they ensured victory at 57.46. Lloyd and Greg Stewart broke clear with the latter getting the delayed penalty goal.

Coventry pulled goalie Peter Hirsch to try and claw their way back, but Matt Towe shot from his own zone to make it 4-1. Belfast: 2.31 ROBERTS, Rycroft, Saurette; 35.47 CLARKE, Roberts, Towe; 57.46 STEWART, Lloyd; 58.43 TOWE (ENG) Coventry: 11.11 B LEEB, Cowley Shots: Belfast 53, Coventry 40 Penalty minutes: Belfast 33, Coventry 10
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 22, 2012
Words:269
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