Dupont Urges Consistency As Devils Snap Out Of Slump

By Matthew Burgess

Six goals, six different scorers, two points and another commanding display of goaltending. Saturday night’s 6-3 win over Glasgow Clan was as close to a perfect response to last weekend’s Challenge Cup defeats as Brodie Dupont could’ve wanted.

Brodie Reid scored his first goal of the season, in addition to posting two assists, and Ben Bowns produced 41 saves as the Cardiff Devils returned to form to maintain their unbeaten start in the Elite League.

Three goals in each of the first two periods saw the Devils offence and power play snap back into life again as they assumed a firm grip of the game. And despite easing off in the closing frame, the two points never looked beyond their grasp as winless Glasgow’s slow start to the season continued.

Dupont has now called on his team to maintain that same level of performance going into this afternoon’s Challenge Cup home game against Guildford Flames (4pm).

“The two points is the perfect response,” he said. “We’re very satisfied with the way we responded, with the identity we’re trying to establish and I felt like we showed more and more bits like that.

“The big thing is to get that level of consistency so it’s for a full 60. We felt like we tailed off a bit in the last 10, that’s almost human nature but you have to go against that, however the win is all that matters.”

Dupont hinted pre-game he planned to make changes to the Devils line-up and his decision paid off immediately as Justin Crandall – moved onto a line alongside Ryan Penny and Josh Brittain – pounced on Penny’s rebound to give the Devils an early first period lead.

“People probably look at it and probably think you’re separating the best duo from last season in Crandall and Reid, but the way we looked at it, is that it gives us more depth from our forwards,” explained Dupont.

Josh Waller slotted in with ease to the Joey Martin-Brodie Reid line as the Devils offence broke out of their slump.

Waller finished the game without a point, but his presence helped Martin and Reid combine for a total of 11 shots on goal and Dupont believes there is a lot more to come from the 23-year-old winger.

“I loved his skating tonight, I thought he had a really great game and looked like he was more confident with the puck.

“He’s making plays with confidence and we’re trying to get him to a point where he’s feeling it every night.”

Gary Batton’s swift reply on a Glasgow power play just 25 seconds after Crandall’s opener threatened to derail the Devils’ positive start.

But the Devils kicked on to regain their lead, with Marcus Crawford wiring in a shot from the blueline on the power play before Mathieu Roy’s stray pass sent Reid through on a breakaway, in which the winger coolly buried over Zach Driscoll’s shoulder.

Cole Sanford notched his third goal in as many league games just 34 seconds into the second period, with a long range effort that signalled the end of Driscoll’s night. The American goalie was replaced in net by former Tampa Bay draft-pick Ty Taylor, who would go on to stop 19 of 21 shots on his Clan debut.

First to beat Taylor was Joey Martin, who netted his first goal since returning to Cardiff, as the Devils cashed in on a 5-vs-3 power play opportunity.

Sam Jardine’s blast was tipped in by Jake Coughler Taylor, putting the Devils 6-1 ahead going into the final period.

Returning to Ice Arena Wales for the first time, Stephen Dixon was given a warm welcome before the game and yet to post a point for his new team, it was with a sense of inevitability that he would score against the Devils as Glasgow turned in their second power play goal of the night.

Craig Peacock further cut the Devils lead, with a third for Clan, and despite Sam Jardine being given a game penalty for clashing with Brad Kennedy, the Devils were able to see out the duration without fuss.

Box score: 3-1, 3-0, 0-2
SOG: 38-44
Power play: 2/5, 2/7

Brodie Reid 1G, 2A, 7 shots
Justin Crandall 1G, 1A
Marcus Crawford 1G, 1A
Jake Coughler 1G, 1A
Mark Richardson 2A
Cole Sanford 1G, 7 shots
Ben Bowns 41 saves

Marcus Crawford’s multi-point night extends his point-streak to four games in both league and cup (3G, 2A).

Ben Bowns has won all three league games this season with 1.67 GAA, 95.05SV% record

Sam Jadine extended his league point streak to three games (1G, 3A)

Guildford Flames 3-2 OT Coventry Blaze (CC)
Belfast Giants 5-4 OT Dundee Stars (CC)
Fife Flyers 1-5 Manchester Storm

Cardiff Devils v Guildford Flames (CC)
Nottingham Panthers v Sheffield Steelers (CC)
Dundee Stars v Belfast Giants (CC)
Coventry Blaze v Fife Flyers
Manchester Storm v Glasgow Clan

Tickets for all forthcoming Cardiff Devils games are available via the team’s official site.

Featured image courtesy of James Assinder

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