League Leaders Nottingham Panthers Comfortable Out in Front

Corey Neilson has warned Cardiff Devils his Panthers team will be going ‘at full tilt’ at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham this evening (Saturday).

Devils follow their 4-2 Elite League win against Guildford Flames in Cardiff Bay on Friday with a trip to the English midlands where they face a Panthers team who are top of the table.

Reigning champions Devils are joint second and take on a home team missing imports Evan Mosey, who is injured, and suspended Paul Bussieres.

“We have enough bodies to make sure we’re going full tilt this weekend,” said Nottingham coach Neilson.

“Our team is comfortable being top. Chasing is a different mindset.

“Being out in front, when you’re in pole position, people are looking at you and chasing you.

“It makes things tough because we’re always the team that everyone wants to knock off.

“But that doesn’t change from year to year because. We are always the team for people to knock off because we are the Nottingham Panthers, we have a beautiful facility, a great fanbase and people want to knock us down.

“I like the mindset, the way the guys are working, the effort being put in every night. We’re finding ways to win and that’s a good recipe.”

Devils, too, are ready for the challenge and go into Saturday night’s clash after winning their last four fixtures.

Player-coach Andrew Lord will ice with Mark Louis, Justin Faryna, Craig Moore plus Josh Batch ruled out injured and that allows Cardiff to ice a full complement of players.

They carry two extra imports in the squad Bryce Reddick plays alongside Tyson Strachan and cover for Louis in defence.

Delighted Joey Haddad celebrates a Cardiff Devils goal against Guildford.

Mark Richardson and Andrew Hotham, Gleason Fournier and Drew Paris complete the six-man D-unit.

Luke Piggott and Toms Rutkis step in to fill the gaps left by the absence of British players Batch and Moore.

“We have a game seven mentality even though it’s this early in the season,” said Lord after the win against Flames. “The guys are pumped up and it’s going to be one heck of a hockey game in Nottingham.

“We gave a big travelling support making their way to the match and that will lift every player.”

Devils captain Jake Morissette, who was man of the match against Guildford, said: “We are all looking forward to this game against Panthers. They have a great team and are top, but it’s going to be a fun challenge.”

Panthers are two points clear of Belfast, Devils and Sheffield with 15 wins from 19 matches.

Cardiff have games in hand over Belfast and Sheffield, while they have beaten Panthers twice in three matches between the rivals this season.

Devils won 4-1 and 6-2 in Wales, while they were edged out 7-4 in Nottingham.

Lord and his team are back in Cardiff Bay for their next two fixtures after playing Panthers.

They take on Sheffield Steelers next Saturday (7pm) and Braehead Clan the following evening (6pm).

Tickets are limited for the clash with Steelers, while there are more available for the Clan visit. Details can be obtained via ONLINE HERE or by calling 0800 0842 666. They will also be available at the arena until face-off on each night.

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