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Thompson blasts 'lazy' forwards after defeat; ICE HOCKEY Nottingham Panthers ............... 3 Coventry Blaze ........................... 1.

Byline: Antony Hopker

COVENTRY Blaze stumbled against higher opposition once again last night as they went down 3-1 to Nottingham Panthers.

While Coventry Plumbing and Heating Blaze had the disappointment of a defeat to league leaders Sheffield at the weekend, Nottingham and coach Corey Neilson were under greater pressure.

Panthers fans have been in uproar since Nottingham let a 4-1 lead slip to a 6-5 defeat against struggling Newcastle on Sunday.

Neilson, playing as a forward, would have felt the screw tighten further when Dan Carlson got a short-handed goal to break the deadlock after 46 minutes after the Panthers boss had a shot blocked at the other end.

But he soon equalised, firing home a shot past Brett Jaeger, who put in yet another stellar, acrobatic performance.

Neilson then set up Jeff Heerema, who lifted the puck over Jaeger to give Panthers the lead at 54.33.

Greg Owen had a good chance to equalise in front of the net, but sent his shot wide, and as Blaze, who gave a debut to James Griffin from Swindon, pulled Jaeger for the extra skater but soon ended up on the penalty kill.

Try as they might, Coventry couldn't find their way back into the game and defeat was sealed when David Clarke scored into the empty net. Blaze coach Paul Thompson said: "We found yet another way to lose tonight. Our defence corps battled hard all night but our invisible import forwards didn't create any chances and were lazy tracking back, and that cost us. The momentum swung away from us after their first goal. There's no belief that we can hold onto leads." Nottingham: 53.22 NEILSON, Galbraith, Van Hoof; 54.33 HEREEMA, Beauregard, Neilson; 59.43 CLARKE, Galbraith, Hereema (PP, EN) Coventry: 46.48 CARLSON, Fulghum, Zanon (SH) Shots: Nottingham 54, Coventry 32 Penalty minutes: Nottingham 8, Coventry 28
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 9, 2011
Words:311
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