Welcome to my news and notes section following the Cardiff Devils ice-hockey
Cardiff Devils 6, Coventry Blaze 4; Bentivoglio completes third period fightback
SOG: CAR 31, COV 27
PP: CAR 1/4, COV 2/5
1) Cardiff Devils – Scott Hotham (Sean Bentivoglio, Joey Haddad) 3:22
2) Coventry Blaze PPG – Jordan Pietrus (Brett Robinson, TJ Syner) 16:36
3) Coventry Blaze – TJ Syner (Marc Cantin, Matt Marquardt) 6:27
4) Coventry Blaze – Marc Cantin (Liam Stewart, Ross Venus) 7:13
5) Cardiff Devils – Matthew Myers (Mark Richardson, Joey Haddad) 16:36
6) Coventry Blaze PPG – Barry Almeida (Jordan Pietrus, TJ Syner) 19:30
7) Cardiff Devils – Guillaume Doucet (Gleason Fournier, Scott Hotham) 3:17
8) Cardiff Devils – Guillaume Doucet (Chris Culligan, Andrew Hotham) 12:30
9) Cardiff Devils – Sean Bentivoglio (Layne Ulmer, Andrew Hotham) 16:09
10) Cardiff Devils EN – Sean Bentivoglio (Andrew Hotham, Layne Ulmer) 18:58
Devils 3 Steelers 2; Devils fend off champions to strengthen league lead
27th October – A LATE Gleason Fournier power play goal clinched a 3-2 win over defending champions the Sheffield Steelers in Cardiff and gave the title-chasing Devils an 11 point lead at the top of the EIHL table.
The Steelers can close that deficit to a point with five games in hand but it is the Devils who continue to set the pace as they bid to win their first league championship.
Fournier was named Man of the Match after the Canadian defenceman recorded a goal and an assist. Ben Bowns made 28 saves.
Bowns was named as the starting goalie despite some talk that Thomas Murdy could feature after and coming on to make a 26-save shutout in last night’s win in Coventry.
An evenly contested first period finished scoreless as tensions begun to boil over late on that would carry into the second period with Sheffield’s Guillaume Desbiens being given a game misconduct.
After Jonathan Phillips had opened the scoring for the visitors, Andrew Lord (Fourier, Ulmer) got the Devils up and running with a power play goal on 4:18 before Guillaume Doucet (Martin) was able to continue his rich vein of form – scoring for the fifth game in a row – to put the Cardiff Devils ahead.
The Steelers then worked their way back into the game in the closing period with Mathieu Roy scoring to draw Sheffield level on the power play. But after Zack Fitzgerald was sent to the box for cross-checking, the Devils were able to make their man advantage count as Fournier’s slapshot beat Mustukovs to restore their lead with just two minutes remaining.
DEVILS POWER PLAY: 2/3
DEVILS PENALTY KILL: 4/5
Gameday: Devils vs Steelers; Bowns or Murdy?
27th October – THE DEVILS are back in the IAW tonight for a huge top of the table tilt with the Sheffield Steelers.
The Devils have a healthy nine point lead over the Steelers at the top of the table -but Sunday’s visitor’s have five games in-hand.
Sheffield are coming off a big 7-1 win over the Edinburgh Capitals in the Challenge Cup and are 10-3-0 in the EIHL and won on their only previous visit to the IAW this season in the Challenge Cup.
The Devils have however fared well against their championship rivals during this campaign, notably winning 4-2 in Sheffield last weekend.
It would seem that the Devils bench have a real call to make over who will be the starting goalie tonight – if indeed Ben Bowns’ reduced minutes last night were not injury related.
Bowns was pulled after just 10:57 last night after being scored on three times from Coventry’s first nine shots. Thomas Murdy then stepped in to make a 27-save shutout. Will Murdy (GAA 2.04; SV% 0.917), who’s been on the winning team on each of his five EIHL appearances this season, get the start tonight?
On another point, the Devils were 0/7 on the power play at home against Braehead last week and are actually only 1/14 in their last three games; that is despite them being ranked 3rd in the league with an 18.3 PP%. The Steelers are, perhaps surprisingly, ranked 8th for their penalty killing (81.8%) – can a more clinical power play give the Devils the edge?
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Blaze 3 Devils 6; Devils overcome first period slump to win
26th October – CHRIS CULLIGAN scored twice and Thomas Murdy saved all 27 shots against him to lift the Devils to a third successive win against struggling Coventry Blaze.
Guillaume Doucet continued his scoring streak with his fifth goal in four games. Gleason Fournier and Joey Martin each claimed a pair of assists.
The game started brightly enough for the Devils when Patrick Asselin (A.Hotham, Martin) gave the visitors a second minute lead but Coventry quickly turned the game on its head scoring three times – twice on the power play – on starting Devils netminder Ben Bowns, who was then pulled after just 11 minutes for Thomas Murdy. Jordan Pietrus and Devils defenceman Andrew Hotham dropped the gloves late in the first period and Hotham was again involved early in the second when his penalty shot was saved by Blaze goalie Brian Stewart.
The Devils comeback began on 10:26 when Chris Culligan (Brine) reduced Coventry’s lead to a single goal and Culligan turned provider on 17:53 for Joey Haddad to make it 3-3 going into the final period.
The Devils were quick off the mark again in the third to take the lead on 1:56 as Doucet (Fournier) fired his 11th goal of the season. Culligan’s deflected effort saw him claim his second goal of the night (Fournier, Martin) to send the Devils into a 5-3 lead. Andrew Lord wrapped the night up with a power play effort (Ulmer) on 19.08 to seal the win with the win of course, giving the Devils some nice momentum ahead of Sunday’s big clash with Sheffield Steelers.
DEVILS POWER PLAY: 1/5
DEVILS PENALTY KILL: 0/2