Cardiff Devils face a Hungarian ‘bull’ when they play MAC Budapest in a challenge clash at the Viola Arena on Sunday (6pm).
Two-way defenceman Chris Carlisle, an American from Fort Lee, New Jersey, is 5ft 10ins tall and will be far from the biggest player on the ice, but his head coach Gergely Majoross says: “We wanted a bull in the last quarterback position and in Chris we have found the right player.
“He is an extremely good skater quarterback who excels with the puck, uses his stick well in defense, and what is extremely important in our case is that his personality is excellent.
“Chris is a good athlete who is excited to be at our club.”
Carlisle, aged 24, played for Italian club Bolzano during 2017-18, and helped them win the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) title, a competition which includes clubs from the Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia and Hungary.
He returned to the United States last season and East Coast League hockey for Manchester Monarchs in the ECHL, while also serving as a loaner with American League teams Grand Rapids Griffins, Providence Bruins and Bellesville Senators.
Earlier in his career Carlisle won the Ontario Junior League and Memorial Cup with Oshawa Generals.
“I’m a two-way defensive player,” said Carlisle. “I play the puck, I skate well. I want to contribute positively to both defense plus offense and help the team to the title.
“Hungary is one of the oldest members of the IIHF and the sport here is growing. I chose MAC Budapest because it is a well known and highly respected team in Hungary.”
Pat McNally, a 27-year-old from Glen Head, New York whose former clubs include San Jose Barracuda and Worcester Railers, is another American D-man on the MAC team.
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Ontario-born Josh Pitt is a forward who played Elite League hockey for Sheffield Steelers last season. Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL) and Syracuse Crunch (AHL) are among his former clubs.
“Josh Pitt’s skills and talents are remarkable,” says Majoross. “Our goal is to work together to optimise his game for the Slovakian league and maximise his performance.
“There is no question his potential is capable of great things at this level and it is our common mission to make that happen.”
Centre Chris Langkow, a 29-year-old Canadian from Alberta, is another North American playing for MAC Budapest and this is his second season with the club.
Langkow’s former clubs include Alaska Aces, Reading Royals, South Carolina Stingrays, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Elmira Jackals and Hartford Wolf Pack.
MAC Budapest play Sheffield Steelers in South Yorkshire on Saturday before coming to South Wales the next evening for their clash with Cardiff Devils.
That will be Devils’ final fixture before they open their Champions League campaign against Mountfield HK at home on Friday, August 30.
Cardiff Devils pre-season and Champions League results/schedule:
Saturday 10 Cardiff Devils 5 Fehervar 2
Sunday 11: Cardiff Devils 2, Fehervar 4
Saturday 17: Nottingham Panthers 3, Cardiff Devils 2
Sunday 18 Cardiff Devils 2, Nottingham Panthers 0
Sunday 25 Cardiff Devils V MAC Budapest (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay, 6pm)
Friday 30 Cardiff Devils v Mountfield HK (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Sunday 1 Cardiff Devils v Graz 99ers (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 6pm)
Thursday 5 Mountfield HK v Cardiff Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 5pm)
Saturday 7 Graz 99ers v Cardiff Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 6.15pm)
Tuesday 8 Frolunda Indians v Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 5pm)
Tuesday 15 Devils v Frolunda Indians (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
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