Cardiff Devils 3, Nottingham Panthers 2
after overtime and penalties
Cardiff Devils earned a second win against Nottingham Panthers, winning after a penalty shootout.
They defeated Panthers 3-1 in Nottingham on Saturday and came from behind to win 3-2 at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay the following evening.
The teams were locked at 2-2 after overtime.
Robert Farmer and Josh Shalla could not find a way past Ben Bowns with their penalties, while Joey Martin’s effort was saved.
Man of the match and captain Jake Morissette decided the issues with a clinical finish to earn Devils the victory.
Goals from Gleason Fournier and Sean Bentivoglio, who scored with less than two minutes of regulation time left, had taken the game into 3v3 overtime.
Devils went ahead after eight minutes 55 seconds when Fournier fired low into the net with assists from Justin Faryna and Morissette.
The visitors levelled the scores on 11-43 when Fournier lost the puck to Robert Farmer near halfway and the Nottingham man skated away, one-on-one with Ben Bowns in goal, and scored an unassisted goal.
Panthers, like Devils, have a lot of skill, but are still waiting for six of their import signings to fly in. They are awaiting visa clearance.
Cardiff, in contrast, have everybody on their roster in and training together, although Andrew Hotham again sat out last night.
He was on the bench alongside coach Jamie Elson and long-serving British player Luke Piggott.
End of first: Devils 1, Panthers 1.
Devils created the best chances during the middle period with Morissette and Fournier close to scoring.
Captain ‘Mo’ broke clear, one-on-one with the goalie, but his shot was saved.
Defenceman Fournier then went coast-to-coast, skating almost the length of the ice down the middle before firing a low shot just wide.
This was a friendly fixture during pre-season, but Devils played physical, went in hard, finished their checks and showed they will have a steely edge this season.
That was underlined when player-coach Lord dropped the gloves, went toe-to-toe with Jeff Brown, threw in some good punches and edged their confrontation.
End of second: Devils 1, Panthers 1.
Panthers went ahead for the first time in the match after 49-16 when Swedish forward Erik Lindhagen lifted the puck into Devils net, the goal assisted by Tim Billingsley.
Devils went on the powerplay soon after when Nottingham were penalised for too many men on the ice and they had several chances before Matt Pope’s fierce shot was saved.
Nottingham were on the PK again thanks to a two-minute penalty for tripping, while they also had Robert Farmer sent to the penalty box on a 10-minute misconduct call.
Devils tied things up with an unassisted, even-handed goal with less than two minutes left.
‘Benti’ netted on 58-24.
End of third: Devils 2, Panthers 2.
Panthers had the advantage at the start of overtime because Devils had Matt Pope serving a two-minute penalty with 54 seconds left on the call. The visitors were able to ice four players against Cardiff’s three until penalty had expired.
When Pope returned Nottingham’s David Clarke was penalised for hooking and Devils had the 4v3 advantage for two minutes.
With seconds left Joey Haddad went desperately close when he slipped a shot past the netminder and the puck clipped the outside of a post on the way past the goal.
It was still 0-0 after overtime and penalties decided the issue.
Devils: G Fournier 1+0, Sean Bentivoglio 1+0, J Faryna 0+1, J Morissette 0+1.
Panthers: R Farmer 1+0, E Lindhagen 1+0, T Billingsley 0+1.
Period scores (Devils first): 1-1; 1-1;
Penalties in minutes: Devils 4+5+2+0=11; Panthers 0+7+16+2=25.
The next home fixtures:
Saturday 19 Devils v Braehead Clan (7pm)
Sunday 20 Devils v German DEL team Krefeld Penguins (6pm)
Ticket information for all matches at Ice Arena Wales (6pm) is available via 0800 0842 666 or on the club’s official website at cardiffdevils.com