Cardiff Devils are back in Europe and preparing for their Champions Hockey League clash with Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden.
Head coach Andrew Lord and his team play Lakers away on Tuesday and then at home later this month in their quest for CHL wins.
Devils have had a storming run in Elite League and Challenge Cup hockey, but have yet to win in Europe after four group fixtures.
They have faced SC Bern and Red Bull Salzburg so far and Lord says: “I loved the way we played against them expect that we didn’t win.
“Now it’s time to put that right against Lakers, one of the best teams in Europe.”
Devils did defeat Lakers last season and Lord says: “Our job is to get back into CHL mode.
“It will be far more of a skating game, a lot less clutch and grab or interference.
“We need to be ready, stay out of the box and manage the puck better than we have all season.”
Cardiff won 3-2 against Dundee Stars in Scotland during midweek and 4-1 at home against Manchester Storm on Saturday in their only fixture of the weekend.
Gleason Fournier’s overtime winner earned the win against Stars, while Matt Pope fired three goals when Storm visited Ice Arena Wales.
“Matt is one of the better goalscorer I have been with on a team or coached,” says Lord. “That line had been a little snakebitten and had more chances in the previous three games than they did against Manchester.
“Matt was on fire and scored three beauties.
“Storm really pushed us. I loved the way we kept scratching and clawing. The fourth goal was huge, while Bownsy (Ben Bowns) was exceptional, huge.
“We did a great job on the penalty kill, although we let Ben down in a few areas 5v5. We know what he can do and is a top quality first save goalie.”
Devils are second in the League table, four points behind leaders Nottingham Panthers with four games in hand.
Sheffield Steelers are bottom, losing 4-1 against Fife Flyers away on Sunday, while Panthers crashed 5-1 at Milton Keynes Lightning.
COVENTRY BLAZE 2 BELFAST GIANTS 4
Belfast Giants wrapped up a perfect weekend, securing their third victory in as many days at the expense of hosts Coventry.
Ben Lake put the Blaze ahead after just over three minutes but Belfast equalised through Darcy Murphy just 65 seconds later as the visitors outshot their opponents 15-6 through the first 20 minutes of action.
A power play goal from Patrick Dwyer but the Giants ahead after seven minutes of the second period, but Coventry responded with a power play goal of their own in the 35th minute, Nicolai Bryhnisveen the scorer.
Belfast were quick to respond once again however, Blair Riley scoring what proved to be the game winner less than 90 seconds later, with Kyle Baun quickly adding a fourth goal for the Giants.
With neither side able to add to the scoreboard in the final frame, Belfast skated away with the points and their fourth win in their last five games.
DUNDEE STARS 2 GUILDFORD FLAMES 4
Guildford Flames made it a four-point win with a second straight win over Dundee Stars, taking the points in a 4-2 victory.
After both teams made the long journey back from Surrey on Saturday, they went at it again, but Dundee weren’t able to get the points back.
Ian Watters opened the scoring with his third goal of the weekend, to give Flames the lead in the first period.
It took until the third period for the goals to start flowing and it was Dundee who got themselves midway through the session when Jordan Cownie netted on the powerplay.
From there, the game gathered pace and three quick goals from the visitors in the space of a minute decided the destination of the points.
Kruise Reddick struck with a sweeping shot to put them back in front, followed by Jamie Crooks with an effort from the slot to make it 3-1.
Dundee hit back through Matt Marquardt as the Stars burst forward on the breakaway, but Evan Ritt’s empty netter sealed the result for Paul Dixon and his team.
FIFE FLYERS 4 SHEFFIELD STEELERS 1
Fife Flyers deepened Sheffield Steelers’ troubled start to the season as they inflicted a third straight defeat on Mark Matheson’s team.
After Friday’s narrow loss at Glasgow Clan, Fife bounced back in style to take two points in a 4-1 home success.
Steelers came in at the conclusion of the first period with a goal lead after Josh Pitt opened the scoring on the powerplay.
The Flyers kicked themselves into gear and got the equaliser as Joe Basaraba tucked the puck home from a pass across goal from Paul Crowder.
Then they took the lead as Carlo Finucci set up Evan Bloodoff, who got the final touch as Steelers’ night took a miserable turn.
Basaraba got his second of the night with a wonderful shot – picking up his third goal in three appearances – as Flyers opened up a two-goal cushion.
Finucci’s empty net goal in the final minutes completed a good night’s work, leaving Steelers to contemplate a long journey home.
MANCHESTER STORM 6 GLASGOW CLAN 2
Doubles from Mike Hammond and Rob Linsmayer made it a good night for Manchester Storm, who ended Glasgow Clan’s three-game weekend with a 6-2 victory.
Clan arrived in Altrincham, looking to complete three victories in three nights, but couldn’t get the result they wanted as Storm bounced back from their 4-1 loss in Cardiff on Saturday.
Storm opened the scoring after seven minutes through Dallas Ehrhardt, but the home fans had to wait until the second period where Mike Hammond and Dane Byers made it three without reply.
The visitors got themselves on the board with a close range finish from Brendan Connolly to narrow the gap at the end of the second.
Linsmayer picked up his first of the night early in the third as Manchester strengthened their hold on the game.
Then another from Hammond made it 5-1 as the points were pretty much secure before Linsmayer completed his double and the lead was much more imperious.
Connolly’s second for the Clan gave the travelling fans something to cheer about, but it did nothing to alter the outcome of the game.
MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING 5 NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 1
Four second period goals in the space of three minutes helped Milton Keynes beat league leaders Nottingham at Planet Ice on Sunday night, with Eric Neiley scoring twice for the Lightning.
Following a goalless first period, Neiley put the home side ahead mid way through the second period when Andreas Valdix picked up the rebound from Tim Wallace initial shot and fed Neiley at the back post.
32-seconds later it was 2-0 after Radek Meidl shovelled home a loose puck before Michael Fine beat Panthers netminder Mike Garnett to extend the Lightning lead further.
Neiley wrapped up a dramatic goal glut for the home side 90 seconds later, finishing from in tight after Wallace pass from down low found the forward with space in front of the Nottingham goal.
Luke Pither pulled one back for Nottingham six minutes into the final frame, providing the finish after Robert Farmer intercepted a loose pass behind the MK net, before Wallace rounded out the victory for the Lightning with an empty net goal two minutes from the end.
ELITE ICE HOCKEY LEAGUE 2018/19
|Milton Keynes Lightning||8||3||5||0||6||.375||17||31||149||1-0|
Devils remaining fixtures in October
Tuesday 9 v Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden (6.30pm, Champions League)
Saturday 13 v Dundee Stars (Ice Arena Wales, 7pm)
Sunday 14 v MK Lightning (away, 5pm)
Tuesday 16 v Vaxjo Lakers (Ice Arena Wales, 7.30pm)
Saturday 20 v Sheffield Steelers (Ice Arena Wales, 7pm)
Sunday 21 v Fife Flyers (Ice Arena Wales, 4pm)
Tickets for the 2018/19 season games are on sale now.
CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE or CALL 0800 0842 666 to book
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