Andrew Lord has said a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to Cardiff Devils fans who showed their belief and passion during the astonishing Challenge Cup semi-final victory against Sheffield Steelers.
Lord’s Devils won 7-1 at Ice Arena Wales to turn around a four-goal deficit from the first leg and take their place in the final against Belfast Giants on Sunday, March 4.
The final is at the IAW in Cardiff Bay and Devils owner Steve King tweeted immediately after the win against Steelers: “Flights booked – we’ll be at the final.”
Head coach Lord was calm and composed after one of the best wins in Devils’ 32-year history and said: “I’m thankful to be a part of it.
“The crowd were on it from the get-go. We asked for more energy and they brought it – I could not hear myself on the bench and that support spurred the guys on.
“We play the final in our rink and that’s going to be awesome. We showed a lot of character as a team and the guys were playing for the badge, for the jersey. They gave it everything.
“Devils supporters gave us so much and we need them to stick behind the boys. That noise! The atmosphere was something else and it is such a help to the players.
“We have a lot of big games coming up and the fans can play a major role.”
One of Cardiff’s major strengths under Lord is an ability to stay level-headed. They don’t beat themselves up after a defeat – and every player has put the sheer ecstasy of that semi-final win out of their minds.
Elite League leaders Devils cannot afford to dwell on their cup success – they have nine fixtures before playing Giants in the final and six of those are away.
Cardiff travel to Milton Keynes Lightning this evening (Saturday) before playing Nottingham Panthers at the IAW in Cardiff Bay on Sunday (6pm).
Devils and Giants have confirmed ticket information for the cup final at Ice Arena Wales.
Giants: 1,000 tickets are being held for Belfast Giants fans. It is not expected that man fans will travel, but League officials want to ensure everybody is catered for.
To buy tickets fans need to book in person at SSE Arena at Sunday’s home game v Fife.
Bookings will be taken by the Giants Official Supporters Club only (not at the Arena Box Office). Those who cannot book in person need to email email@example.com to reserve tickets.
Devils: Season ticket holders are all guaranteed a seat for the final. They can book their cup final tickets this Sunday (9am to 5pm) in person only.
A club statement says: “We are asking all season ticket holders to make the effort to come to Ice Arena Wales during that time period to make the booking process easier and faster for you.
“Please note that the closer to game time that you come down to book, the bigger the queue. We have to cut off at 5pm to open the doors for the game v Nottingham Panthers.
“We are hoping that as many season ticket holders as possible use Sunday to book in person. If you are unable to book in person on Sunday, you will be able to book over the phone or in person from Monday, February 12 (10am) until Thursday February 15 (5pm).
“After Thursday, all unsold season ticket seats will be put on general sale.”
For non-Devils season ticket holders all seats not sold to Giants fans and not help will be put on sale via the normal online booking system.
There will be at least 500 tickets if not more, dependent on how many are taken by Belfast supporters.
All seats are £22 inclusive of all service charges.
Remaining Devils Elite League fixtures before the cup final, during February and the first Friday in March.
Saturday 10 v MK Lightning (away, 7pm)
Sunday 11 v Nottingham Panthers (home, 6pm)
Wednesday 14 v Guildford Flames (away, 7.30pm)
Saturday 17 v Nottingham Panthers (away, 7pm)
Sunday 18 v Edinburgh Capitals (away, 6pm)
Wednesday 21 v Sheffield Steelers (away, 6pm)
Saturday 24 Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)
Sunday 25 v Belfast Giants (home, 6pm)
Friday 2 v Manchester Storm (home, 7.30pm)
Sunday 4 Challenge Cup final at Ice Arena Wales: Cardiff Devils v Belfast Giants (4pm).
Giants won 6-4 against Fife Flyers last night to edge close to leaders Devils. Belfast are five points behind Cardiff having played two extra games.
ELITE LEAGUE STANDINGS
All teams play 56 matches.
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