Devils' Joey Martin going for goal against Guildford Flames. Pic: Helen Brabon.

Shutout King Bowns Keeps Devils On Course For Glory

Cardiff Devils 2, Guildford Flames 0

Goalie Ben Bowns kept a third shutout in four Elite League matches as Cardiff Devils stayed on course to win the Elite League ice hockey title.

They have seven fixtures to play in the regular season and are four points ahead of Belfast Giants.

Both teams have played 53 matches – and one of the two rivals will be crowned champions.

Bowns kept a second straight home shutout, while Layne Ulmer and Gleason Fournier, with his 22nd goal of the season, scored the goals.

In a fiercely contested match at the Viola Arena, Cardiff scored their goals in the middle period.

Canadian power forward Joey Haddad and Toms Rutkis returned to the Devils line-up, while Charles Linglet was rested as the spare import. 

Cardiff Devils goalscorer Layne Ulmer. Pic: Helen Brabon.

The next test for Devils is against Sheffield Steelers away next Saturday, while they are at home against Glasgow Clan the following evening.

Devils and Flames kept each other out in the opening 20 minutes before Cardiff took control.

Layne Ulmer opened the scoring at 27-52 – a dump into the corner allowed the pass out in front for Ulmer to slot home from close range.

With 3-09 left in the second Fournier’s shot from the blueline went through traffic to put the Devils two ahead.

Guildford had some decent possession late on, but weren’t able to find a way past Bowns, and the Devils took the 2-0 win to stay clear at the top.

Flames are back at the Viola Arena on Sunday for the Challenge Cup final against Belfast Giants (4pm).

Gleason Fournier scored Devils’ second goal. Pic: Richard Murray.

Match stats (Devils v Flames):

Scorers, Devils: Layne Ulmer 1+0, Gleason Fournier 1+0, Jake Morissette 0+1, Joey Haddad 0+1, Sean Bentivoglio 0+1, Joey Martin 0+1.

Period scores (Devils first): 0-0; 2-0 (2-0); 0-0 (2-0)

Shots on goal: Devils (on Fullerton) 2+14+2=18, Flames (on Bowns) 6+6+7=19.

Special teams: Devils PK 3/3, PP 1/5; Flames PK 4/5, PP 0/3.

Men off the match: Devils, Matthew Myers; Flames, Travis Fullerton.

Penalties in minutes: Devils 6+0+0=12; Flames 0+8+2=10.

Referees: Dean Smith and Matt Rose. 

Attendance: 3,100.

Cardiff Devils’ Matthew Myers was man of the match v Guildford Flames.

Belfast Giants 5, Glasgow Clan 4

Adam Keefe’s Belfast kept up their chase of Cardiff at the top of the table with a hard-fought win over Glasgow.

The sides were level after 20 minutes at the SSE Arena. Jordan Smotherman’s opening goal at 5-05 was cancelled out by Scott Pitt just over two and a half minutes before the end of the first period.

Two goals in little more than five minutes at the beginning of the second put the home side 3-1 ahead. Josh Roach (22-25) and Darcy Murphy (27-37) were the scorers, although Guillaume Doucet pulled Clan back to within one at 35-19.

Blair Riley re-established Belfast’s two-goal lead (4-2) with 71 seconds left in the period.

A powerplay goal by Gerard Hanson 1-34 into the final period again had Clan back to within one of tying the game, but Giants responded again when Kyle Baun scored (48-15). 

The visitors did make the final few minutes interesting after Hanson bundled a puck home from close range with 2-38 left, but after pulling net minder Joel Rumpel they weren’t able to generate that killer chance in the closing stages to force overtime.

Elite League fixtures this weekend:

Saturday, March 9: Milton Keynes Lightning v Coventry Blaze (7pm), Nottingham Panthers v Dundee Stars (7pm), Sheffield Steelers v Fife Flyers (7pm).

Sunday, March 10: Dundee Stars v Manchester Storm (5pm), Coventry Blaze v Milton Keynes Lightning (5.15pm), Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers (6.30pm).

Sunday, March 10: Challenge Cup final, Belfast Giants v Guildford Flames at the Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay (4pm).

Tickets for the Challenge Cup Final are still available here.

Cardiff Devils 

Remaining 7 Elite League fixtures

Three home, four away


Saturday 16 v Sheffield Steelers (away, 7pm)

Sunday 17 v Glasgow Clan (home, 6pm)

Wednesday 20 v Glasgow Clan (away, 7.30pm)

Saturday 23 v Manchester Storm (home, 7pm)

Sunday 24 v Dundee Stars (away, 5pm)

Saturday 30 v MK Lightning (home, 7pm)

Sunday 31 v Coventry Blaze (away, 5.15pm)

Belfast Giants

7 fixtures left, five home, two away


Friday 15 v Coventry Blaze (home, 7pm)

Saturday 16 v Coventry Blaze (home, 7pm)

Friday 22 v Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)

Sunday 24 v Sheffield Steelers (home, 4pm)

Wednesday 27 v Coventry Blaze (away, 7.30pm)

Friday 29 v Fife Flyers (home, 7pm)

Saturday 30 v Dundee Stars (home, 7pm)


Cardiff Devils 53 39 8 6 84 .792 210 132 603 5-0
Belfast Giants 53 39 12 2 80 .755 205 133 661 2-0
Glasgow Clan 54 30 19 5 65 .602 193 166 670 0-2
Nottingham Panthers 54 26 18 10 62 .574 166 170 878 1-0
Guildford Flames 54 27 22 5 59 .546 171 163 648 0-1
Fife Flyers 51 25 20 6 56 .549 165 172 702 0-2
Sheffield Steelers 54 26 25 3 55 .509 160 186 797 0-1
Manchester Storm 53 23 25 5 51 .481 156 183 1094 0-1
Dundee Stars 51 19 20 12 50 .490 144 174 512 1-0
Coventry Blaze 50 21 22 7 49 .490 175 193 661 0-4
Milton Keynes Lightning 51 14 33 4 32 .314 126 199 877 1-0

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