Cardiff Devils are almost ready for their 2019-20 Champions Hockey League adventure.
Head coach Andrew Lord and his Elite League play-off title winners play their final pre-season challenge match on Sunday evening when MAC Újbuda visit Cardiff.
The Hungarian team take on Devils at their Viola Arena rink in Cardiff Bay (6pm), having been edged out 5-4 by Sheffield Steelers last night.
This evening’s fixture is Cardiff’s final fixture before they open their Champions League campaign against Mountfield HK at home next Friday (August 30).
MAC Újbuda, formerly known as MAC Budapest, play in the Slovakian Tipsport liga and are based at the Tüskecsarnok Arena in Budapest.
Újbuda means ‘New Buda’, an area of Budapest.
MAC have several North American players on their roster including former Steelers man Josh Pitt.
Ontario-born Pitt is a forward has also played for Kalamazoo Wings (East Coast League) and Syracuse Crunch (American League).
“Josh Pitt’s skills and talents are remarkable,” says MAC head coach Gergely Majoross. “Our goal is to work together to optimise his game and maximise his performance.
“There is no question his potential is capable of great things and it is our common mission to make that happen.”
Two-way defenceman Chris Carlisle, an American from Fort Lee, New Jersey, 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 played 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.”
Chris Langkow played in the AHL, ECHL, Allsvenskan and EBEL hockey before moving to MAC Ujbuda. During his time in the AHL he played for the Bridgeport Sounds Tigers in 2011-12 alongside Devils’ Blair Riley.
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.
Canadian-born Scott Macaulay, who is a Hungarian international, is a D-man who scored against Sheffield on Saturday.
MAC lost 5-4 against Steelers, who led 3-0 after the first period.
Tanner Eberle tipped in Ben O’Connor’s shot for 1-0 (8-46) and less than two minutes later, the same player added a second before Michael Davies scored number three.
Brance Orban pulled one back for MAC, but Steelers powered into a 5-1 lead thanks to goals from Anthony DeLuca and Nikolai Lemtyugov.
Sheffield, though, were stunned by MAC’s comeback with Richard Kedves, Scott Macaulay and Istvan Sofron scoring. Steelers had a two-minute 5-on-3 powerplay which they failed to convert and were hanging on at the end.
Sunday’s Devils v MAC Budapest match completes their pre-season match preparation.
The face-off is at 6pm with doors to the arena open from 5pm and the bar from 4pm. There are still tickets available – CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS or call on 0800 0842 666.
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)
Tickets: CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE or call on 0800 0842 666