Matt Pope in action for Cardiff Devils.

Pope Out For Devils Dozen In Blaze Home Clash

Canadian forward Matt Pope is aiming to complete a Devils dozen when the Elite League champions play Coventry Blaze in Cardiff Bay on Saturday.

Pope has scored in his last 11 @officialEIHL matches, a record stretching back into last season, and wants to make it 12 when Blaze visit Ice Arena Wales (7pm).

The former Hershey Bears and Aalborg Pirates forward finished the 2017-18 season, his first with Devils, on 57 points in 52 matches (21 goals, 36 assists).

He scored during Cardiff’s 3-2 League win against Nottingham Panthers and in Sunday’s crushing 9-1 victory against Milton Keynes Lightning.

Devils are now preparing for their third domestic home fixture, against Blaze, after completing in Champions League hockey earlier this month.

Head coach Andrew Lord and his team entertain Blaze in a Challenge Cup group match before going to South Yorkshire for a League clash with Sheffield Steelers on Sunday (4pm).

Devils are again likely to be without injured forward Justin Faryna and defenceman Mark Richardson, but they have started their season in style and have been building confidence.

Sheffield Steelers, who entertain Devils on Sunday,  have had a stuttering start to the new season and crashed 5-1 against Guildford Flames last time out.

Head coach Paul Thompson and his Steelers were 5-0 down before Justin Buzzeo a late consolation goal.

“I’m embarrassed by the performance and I don’t think I have too add anything more than that,” said Thompson.

“We are, of course, not where we want to be right now and that match was a very low point. We gave our fans nothing to cheer about yet they didn’t stop cheering for us all night. I feel for them.

“I feel for Jackson Whistle right now. He isn’t doing anything wrong and, particularly in the middle period, we gave him no support.

“Out of adversity you see character and I want to see our character come through. We are all in this together, the players and I.”

Steelers also lost 3-2 in a Challenge Cup penalty shootout against Manchester Storm, while they have released Canadian twins Matt and Ryan Rupert.

Thompson is moving quickly to sign replacements and an import forward is due in this weekend for Sheffield’s matches against Manchester Storm and at home to Devils.

“Cardiff are the team to be measured against and that’s a great challenge for us,” said Thompson, who accepted that Devils had played well in Champions Hockey League matches against two of the top teams in Europe, Red Bull Salzburg and SC Bern. 

Devils home tickets: CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE or CALL 0800 0842 666 to book

CLICK HERE to be redirected to the Cardiff Devils full fixtures list.

Remaining Devils fixtures in September

Saturday 22: Cardiff Devils v Coventry Blaze (7pm, Challenge Cup)

Sunday 23: Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils (4pm, Elite League)

Wednesday 26: Nottingham Panthers v Cardiff Devils (7.30pm, EL)

Saturday 29: Guildford Flames v Cardiff Devils (6pm, CC)

Sunday 30: Cardiff Devils v Glasgow Clan (6pm, EL)

Cardiff IceTime TV webcast details:

Sheffield Steelers webcast here:

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