Canadian forward Mike McNamee is back playing after injury. Pic: Helen Brabon.

Mike And Matias In Sizzling Form For Cardiff Devils

Andrew Lord and his Devils opened the 2019-20 domestic season with back-to-back wins and 10 goals.

Canadian Mike McNamee and Finnish forward Matias Sointu were both key figures for Devils during 5-3 wins against Guildford Flames (Cup) and Glasgow Clan (League).

McNamee was man of the match against Flames, while Sointu has proved an effective and stylish forward since joining Cardiff following a niggling muscle injury suffered by captain Joey Martin.

“The upside on McNamee is absolutely huge,” said Lord. “He is learning to be a real pro here, a 200 foot hockey player.

“He has always been pretty solid, but he’s picking up face-off wise, defensively, playing hard and using his stick a little better defensively. 

“His offensive upside is through the roof, the way he moves his feet. Some of the chemistry developing with Charles Linglet is fun to see. 

“That can really take off for us here.”

“McNamee is a big piece of what we are doing. I really enjoying working with him, he’s a great guy and the guys love him.

“He’s an easy, low maintenance hockey player.”

Sointu, aged 29, was brought in on a short-term contract when captain Joey Martin sustained a minor muscle strain and Lord is delighted with his contribution.

“I feel really good about this one,” said Lord. “It happened in less than a day. There are always guys available, but to find the right guy who will fit in is another story.

“To do that at short notice is great. It all happened in less than a day and he’s done great. Amazing, and has really picked up the systems really quickly.

“He understands things at a fast rate, while his speed and playmaking ability are excellent and he plays a really good all-round game.

“Sointu is solid and has fitted in with how we play.”

No final decision has been made on Sointu’s future, but the former HC Bolzano player is certain to have talks with Lord over the next few weeks.

Lord talked about the wins against Flames and Clan, both at the Viola Arena, and said: “Two good wins and while there were good points in the performances there was a lot of sloppiness as well.

“Both of our power play units have been good. Sointu’s unit produces at one stage and then Linglet’s unit produces. That’s a big part of our game.

“The powerplay is getting better and overall we were fundamentally pretty solid open it.”

Devils are now preparing for three matches in four days, playing Guildford away on Thursday (Cup, 7.30pm), Glasgow at home on Saturday (7pm, League) and then Coventry away (Cup, 5.30pm). 

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