Cardiff Devils are aiming to be ‘fast and fearless’ when they play Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions Hockey League at Ice Arena Wales on Thursday evening.
The match against one of Europe’s most potent ice hockey teams starts Devils’ 2018-19 season and a sell-out attendance is expected in Cardiff Bay.
There were some tickets still available earlier today and head coach Andrew Lord has called on the Red Army fans to ‘Make it loud, make it proud.’
Lord has added pace and power to his team this season, recruiting four high-end, top quality players in Stephen Dixon, Charles Linglet, Mike Hedden and Ben Blood.
“We are a lot faster as a team,” said Lord. “Our aim is to be fearless and play with fire and passion.
“Salzburg are tough opposition. They run a five-man offence. At times it’s difficult to know who their defencemen are because they are jumping up all the time.
“Salzburg have a ton of speed and it’s a huge test, but we are prepared.”
Devils have kept the core of their team from last season and experienced D-man Mark Richardson says: “The experience of playing together and knowing the systems we have in place is going to be huge.
“It was a great experience last season. Apart from the first game in Davos, where it was a crazy game, we didn’t know what to expect and they came out hard.
“We settled in as the games went on and were able to show what we can do.
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“For me, the different style showed playing in a tournament like that. In Davos, they were a free-flowing team compared to Vaxjo, who were more systematic.
“We are better prepared for it this time compared to a year ago. You know you’re going to be playing a high standard of opposition, but it won’t be so much of a shock this time.
“We have a lot of players back with us who played last year, so with the first two games at home, we hope we can pick up some good results.
“Salzburg are going to be a really tough test for us and will be a different challenge compared to Davos and the teams we faced last year.
“I expect them to be direct, physical and a bit more up tempo. We relish the challenge.”
Devils’ game against Red Bull Salzburg will be shown live on FreeSports, where coverage will begin 7.25pm.
FreeSports is currently available via Freeview (95), Sky (422), Virgin (553) FreeSat (252), TalkTalk (95), BT Vision (95) and online via the TVPlayer.
Tickets for both CHL games this week are on sale now ONLINE HERE or by calling 0800 0842 666 or in person at Arena reception.