Cardiff Devils are on a ‘special’ Challenge Cup mission in Scotland.
They take on Glasgow Clan in the first leg of their quarter-final and head coach Andrew Lord says: “The Challenge Cup is a special competition for me and our team.
“We want to keep our good run in this competition going. We know how difficult it is to play in Glasgow having experienced that earlier this season when we went up there and Bownsy (Ben Bowns) stood on his head in a 1-0 win.
“We need to be ready to go from the beginning. No excuses, we have to just get back to our hockey and need a positive result to take back to Cardiff in two weeks time.
“These two leg ties are always tricky and it’s crucial to earn a good result in the first game.”
Devils chose Clan as their quarter-final opponents ahead of Manchester and Sheffield. Belfast were top seeds and elected to play Dundee Stars, while second seeds Cardiff opted for a trip to Scotland.
Both teams lost their last games, Glasgow were shutout on their own ice by Guildford, while Cardiff went down to MK in overtime.
“We know what we have to do against Cardiff,” says Clan coach Peter Russell. “They are a deep team and I don’t buy into them having a tough time right now.
“For me, the league in general is that good. We have compete, make sure we’re defensively good and be ready for them.
“They are good down low, have a good defensive core and we have to take our chances. That’s the big thing for me – taking those opportunities when we get them.”
Glasgow Clan v Cardiff Devils (7.30pm) Challenge Cup (Tickets)
Clan v Devils is one of two cup matches being played this evening.
Stars are at home v Belfast (both 7.30pm) in another cup clash.
Giants are the in-form side in the Elite League and face a Stars team who won two games last week and have already beaten the Giants at home this season.
“Dundee have hurt us already this season and we need to make sure the tie is still alive after 60 minutes before we come back to Belfast next month,” said Giants coach Adam Keefe.
MK Lightning travel to play Panthers in Elite League. They have never won in Nottingham in the EIHL, but have earned three victories in the last five since changing coaches.
“It’s a tough game,” said Panthers coach Rich Chernomaz. “They’re on the upswing after changing their coaching set-up and we need to be prepared.”
Lightning Tim Wallace says: “It’s a tough test for us going to their barn.
“Our team group has been gaining a lot of confidence over the past week or so and we are excited for the challenge. “Playing in that rink is always fun and will be a first for most of our guys. We need to stick to our game plan, play with urgency to give us the best chance to win.”
Nottingham Panthers v MK Lightning (Tickets)
Cardiff Devils trip to Glasgow is the first of four fixtures in eight days for the Welsh club.
The first two of those are in Scotland, against Glasgow on Wednesday in the Challenge Cup and then Fife Flyers on Saturday. Dundee Stars visit the Viola Arena on Cardiff Bay the following evening before Devils entertain Guildford Flames on Wednesday, December 5.
Cardiff Devils remaining fixtures in 2018
Wednesday 28 v Glasgow Clan (away, 7.30pm)
Saturday 1 v Fife Flyers (away, 7.15pm)
Sunday 2 v Dundee Stars (home, 6pm)
Wednesday 5 v Guildford Flames (home, 7.30pm)
Sunday 9 v Belfast Giants (away, 4pm)
Friday 14 v Glasgow Clan (home, 7.30pm, Challenge Cup)
Saturday 15 v Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)
Thursday 20 v MK Lightning (away, 7.30pm)
Saturday 22 v Dundee Stars (home, 7pm)
Sunday 23 v Guildford Flames (away, 6pm)
Wednesday 26 v Coventry Blaze (away, 6pm)
Thursday 27 v Coventry Blaze (home, 7pm)
Sunday 30 v Guildford Flames (away, 6pm)
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