Coventry Blaze 3, Cardiff Devils 4
Cardiff Devils relentless pursuit of Elite League trophies going on. Mike McNamee scored the winning goal at Coventry’s SkyDome rink and kept them tucked in just behind leaders Sheffield Steelers.
Coach Andrew Lord and his Devils have won 11 of their last 12 league and cup matches – five of those by a single goal – and even in the lone defeat, 3-2 against Nottingham Panthers, Cardiff earned a point because the teams were level after 60 minutes.
Devils have scored 50 goals in that run, which started at the end of November, and conceded 27.
Mark Louis, Charles Linglet, Bryce Reddick and McNamee were the scorers in a hard fought success.
“A big win, a tough win,” said Devils coach Lord. “Blaze are a good team and a fast team. Our start was not ideal, but I liked our second much better.
“In the third we generated a couple of good goals by getting to the net and then handed it back. Thankfully, we found a way to win by scoring to make it 4-3 and shutting things down at the end.”
Cardiff were 3-1 ahead with just over 15 minutes left before Coventry hit back to level the scores at 3-3. Then McNamee came up with the winner after 48-01.
“We played a good 60-minutes,” said Coventry coach Danny Stewart. “There were a couple of mistakes and when that happens Cardiff will make you pay.
“There was an unlucky bounce for the third goal, while we hit the bar when we had the extra attacker. Such fine margins between winning and losing.”
Devils and Blaze meet again on New Year’s Day with the puck dropping 4pm at the Viola Arena in Cardiff.
While Devils were winning in Coventry, Cardiff forward Blair Riley played his part in the Team Canada group who won the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
Canada won the Spengler Cup for the fourth time in five years.
The team — comprising mainly European-based pros, including ex-NHLers — beat Czech team Trinec Ocelari 4-0 in the final of the annual Christmas tournament.
It was a record 16th Spengler title for Canada, breaking a tie with host HC Davos for most in tournament history.
Riley is on his way back to Wales and will be available for their matches next weekend.
Scorers, Blaze: Luke Ferrara 1+0, Evan Bloodoff 1+0, Andrew Johnston 1+0, Charles Corcoran 0+2, Janne Laakkonen 0+1, John Curran 0+1, Ross Venus 0+1.
Devils: Mark Louis 1+0, Charles Linglet 1+0, Bryce Reddick 1+0, Mike McNamee 1+0, Toms Rutkis 0+1, Masi Marjamaki 0+1, Stephen Dixon 0+1, Joey Haddad 0+1, Gleason Fournier 0+2, Josh Batch 0+1, Sean McMonagle 0+1.
Period scores (Blaze first) 1-1; 0-1 (1-2);2-2 (3-4)
Shots on goal: Blaze (on Bowns) 13+11+13=37; Devils (on CJ Notte) 5+5+13=23
Face-offs won: Blaze 21, Devils 27
Penalties in minutes: Blaze 0+0+4=4; Devils 2+0+6=8
Powerplays: Blaze 3, Devils 1
Referees: Chris Wells, Blake Copeland
Cardiff Devils team:
Goalies: Ben Bowns (back-up Thomas Murdy)
First line: Gleason Fournier, Mark Richardson, Charles Linglet, Stephen Dixon, Joey Haddad
Second line: Mark Louis, Sean McMonagle, Sean Bentivoglio, Mike McNamee, Matt Pope
Third line: Sam Jardine, Shaone Morrisonn, Josh Batch, Matthew Myers, Sam Duggan
Fourth line: Bryce Reddick, Toms Rutkis, Masi Marjamaki
TICKETS: There are just a few single seats left so it’s looking like we’ll start the new decade with another #HellOut. Keep an eye on our social media as tickets may become available on the day. Click HERE to purchase single seats or call 0800 0842 666.
Cardiff Devils fixtures in January (League unless stated)
Wednesday 1 v Coventry Blaze (home, 4pm)
Saturday 4 v Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)
Sunday 5 v Fife Flyers (home, 6pm)
Saturday 11 v Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)
Sunday 12 v Dundee Stars (home, 6pm)
Saturday 18 v Sheffield Steelers (home, 7pm)
Sunday 19 v Dundee Stars (away, 5pm)
Wednesday 22 v Nottingham Panthers (home, 7.30pm, Challenge Cup)
Saturday 25 v Fife Flyers (away, 7.15pm)
Sunday 26 v Nottingham Panthers (home, 6pm)
Wednesday 29 v Nottingham Panthers (away, 7.30pm, Challenge Cup)
Other Elite League results: Belfast Giants 3, Dundee Stars 6; Glasgow Clan 5, Fife Flyers 1; Nottingham Panthers 2, Sheffield Steelers 3; Coventry Blaze 3, Cardiff Devils 4.
Elite League standings