Canadian forward Jamie Crooks produced a high five for Guildford Flames – and left Cardiff Devils in disarray.
Crooks scored five of Guildford’s goals in their 6-3 win at the Spectrum, a result which is a blow to Devils Elite League title hopes.
The damage, though, was limited because leaders Sheffield Steelers lost 3-1 against Fife Flyers after going down against Dundee Stars on Saturday, while Belfast Giants crashed 4-0 at Nottingham Panthers.
“It was frustrating,” said Devils head coach Andrew Lord. “I thought we had learned the lesson against Coventry Blaze on Saturday that we must play for 60 minutes, but we didn’t.
“We played poorly in the first period. It was flat and we weren’t physically engaged. Our second was great, unbelievable.
“We hemmed Flames in and were relentless. Two goals could have been more.
“The third was not as good as the second.”
Cardiff have the chance to put bad memories from Guildford out of their minds when they take on Fife Flyers at the Viola Arena on Wednesday (7.30pm).
Evan Mosey, who made his first appearance of the season against Coventry, scored a goal and added an assist for Devils, but this match belonged to Crooks.
“When it’s your night, it is your night, and certainly it was Jamie’s night which helped turn it into our night,” said Flames coach Paul Dixon.
“Jamie scored against Glasgow the night before and added five against Cardiff,” said Flames’ coach Paul Dixon. “His stick was like a magic wand.
“There were smiles all round in our locker room after a four-point weekend.”
— Guildford Flames (@flamesicehockey) February 16, 2020
“If the game was measured by puck possession time, certainly Cardiff had the puck more than we did, but we were able to score when the opportunities presented.
“Even when Devils were back in it and a single goal down twice, we were able to grab that next one each time to eventually put them in a time crunch.”
Crooks had a natural hat-trick in the opening period to take Flames to a 3-0 lead, added a fourth in the third and added an empty net fifth.
Blair Riley, Joey Martin and Mosey were the Devils scorers.
Scorers, Flames: Jamie Crooks 5+0; TJ Foster 1+0; Brett Ferguson 0+3; John Dunbar 0+2; Lea 0+1; Rowley 0+1; Calle Ackered 0+1; TJ Foster 0+1; Ben Davies 0+1; Corbin Baldwin 0+1
Devils: Evan Mosey 1+1; Joey Martin 1+0, Blair Riley 1+0; Gleason Fournier 0+1; Joey Haddad 0+2; Shaone Morrisonn 0+1; Sam Jardine 0+1;
Period scores (Flames first): 3-0; 0-2 (3-2); 3-1 (6-3)
Shots on goal: Flames (on Ben Bowns) 13+3+9=25, Devils (on Travis Fullerton) 8+12+16=36
Penalties in minutes Flames 6, Devils 8
Powerplays: Flames 4, Devils 3
Face-offs won: Flames 25, Devils 36
Men of the match: Flames, Jamie Crooks; Devils, Evan Mosey
Referees: Dean Smith, Matt Thompson
Cardiff Devils team:
Goalies: Ben Bowns (back-up Thomas Murdy)
First line: Gleason Fournier, Mark Richardson, Joey Haddad, Joey Martin, Evan Mosey
Second line: Sam Jardine, Shaone Morrisonn, Masi Marjamaki, Mike McNamee, Blair Riley
Third line: Sedan McMonagle, Mark Louis, Sean Bentivoglio, Stephen Dixon, Bryce Reddick
Fourth line: Josh Batch, Matthew Myers, Sam Duggan
Elite League Sunday results: Nottingham Panthers 4, Belfast Giants 0; Coventry Blaze 5, Glasgow Clan 3; Fife Flyers 3, Sheffield Steelers 1; Guildford Flames 6, Cardiff Devils 3.
Wednesday fixtures: Glasgow Clan v Nottingham Panthers (7.30pm); Cardiff Devils v Fife Flyers (7.30pm); Guildford Flames v Belfast Giants (7.30pm)
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