Cardiff Devils 2 - 7 Belfast Giants
Faceoff: 18:00 - 08/09/13
The Cardiff Devils fell to defeat in their opening league game at home, when a final period burst by the Belfast Giants took them clear in what had until then been a close and competitive game.
An injury to Dan LaCosta the previous night meant that Joe Myers once again took his place in the Devils’ net and it was to be a busy night for the Cardiff netminder. The game was barely a minute old when Belfast opened the scoring, Evan Cheverie moving the puck around quickly for the wraparound goal at the far post.
Despite the early goal for Belfast the game remained close with the Giants holding onto their one goal lead going into the second period. Cardiff came close to equalising several times but in the 27th minute Calvin Elfring scored to double the visitors’ lead.
The Devils did not let their confidence drop though and less than a minute later had scored a goal of their own. Ben Davies carried the puck behind the back of the net before picking out Andrew Conboy in front and his one-timer nearly ripped the goal net open.
Cardiff appeared to be getting on top and were forcing the Belfast players into a series of penalties. With both Mark Garside and Cody Brockwell sitting in the bin the Devils took full advantage of the 5-on-3 powerplay. Chris Blight fed Mac Faulkner on the blueline and his rocket of a slapshot flew just inside the far post to tie the game.
The game was now finely poised and a mid-ice incident that saw both Conboy and David Phillips thrown out of the game only added to the tension. Cardiff still looked the most likely to score the next goal but on the resulting powerplay from Conboy’s penalty Jeff Szwez scored to give the Giants the lead going into the final period.
The next goal was to be decisive and unfortunately for the majority of the noisy fans in the Big Blue Tent it went to Belfast, Chris Higgins taking advantage of a loose pass to weave in and out of the Cardiff defence before finishing brilliantly.
That goal seemed to knock all confidence out of the Cardiff players and as tiredness started to kick in the Giants took full advantage. Adam Keefe’s long range slapshot and another bullet from Robby Sanrock made the game safe. It was left to Belfast captain and Man of the Match Adam Keefe to complete the scoring with the goal of the game. Darryl Lloyd broke down the wing and flicked over a pass for Keefe to brilliantly one-time on the half-volley into the roof of the net for a 7-2 score line and an emphatic win.