THE NEW year began in disappointing fashion for Coventry Blaze after their chances of reaching the end of season Elite League play-offs were dented following back-to-back defeats against Belfast over the weekend.
After recording 11 points from their concluding seven games of 2015, Chuck Weber’s men fell victim to 6-3 and 5-2 defeats at the Odyssey and Skydome Arenas respectively.
The Giants made a solid start at the Skydome with a quick-fire goal from Mike Radja just seven minutes into proceedings.
Blaze struggled to make an impact on the Giants net for the first 30 minutes, however the persistent Brett Robinson clocked their first goal of the night shortly before the conclusion of the second period.
The hosts were outmuscled in the third period and quickly found themselves trailing by three goals following a trio of markers from Belfast skaters Walser, Keefe and Higgins.
Despite a late second goal for Jordan Pietrus, Belfast added another to their tally to confirm their four-point-weekend and defeat the Blaze 5-2.
After the game, Chuck Weber told the Coventry Observer that the Blaze simply did not match the physicality of the Giants and struggled on face-offs.
“Tonight was disappointing, we needed some guys to step up and make some plays and it didn’t happen,” said Weber.
“The second goal we conceded was unfortunate, however the other goals were preventable and this weekend was a little disappointing.
“Besides this weekend our face-offs have been a lot better.
“We chased a lot of pucks tonight and they say in the NHL that if you’re not winning the puck you’re chasing the puck and we can’t afford to do that against the stronger teams.”