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Cardiff Devils 3-4 Braehead Clan
Saturday 14th Sep 2013
Cardiff slipped to their second successive defeat at home despite an impressive debut from netminder Greg Blais. In a tense, close game with few chances it was the Clan who took the lead midway through the first period. Ed McGrane’s shot from the blueline was tipped by Nathan Moon in front of the net and that was enough to divert it past Blais.
Braehead’s lead lasted barely two minutes though. A big check by Mark Smith on the blueline created a turnover, allowing Andrew Lord to pick out Mac Faulkner and he fired in the equaliser.
The second period was also tense as the game became increasingly scrappy. The Devils gradually started to get on top though and 90 seconds before the end of the period they deservedly took the lead. With ex-Devil Kenton Smith sat in the bin for Hooking, Cardiff took full advantage of the powerplay when Andrew Lord tipped in a shot from the blueline to make it 2-1.
Having worked so hard to take the lead the Devils threw it away just 23 seconds into the final period, Ash Goldie profiting from a great reverse pass from Champagne to tie the game. Matthew Myers was then awarded a penalty shot after being brought down on a breakaway, but despite out manoeuvring the netminder he wasn’t able to lift it over Kyle Jones’ glove.
A clash along the boards then saw Andrew Conboy thrown out of the game on a Checking From Behind call, putting the Clan on a 5 minute powerplay. It took Ash Goldie just 9 seconds to fire the puck high into the net to give his side the lead and when Faulkner was also sent to the bin Champagne somehow slid the puck past Blais for a 4-2 lead.
Cardiff finally returned to full strength with 10 minutes to go but despite long spells of pressure continued to be denied by Jones. In the final minute though a collision between the Braehead netminder and his defender allowed Mark Richardson to fire the puck into the unguarded net with 18 seconds remaining. The Devils pulled their netminder once again and fired the puck straight into the Braehead zone, but despite coming agonisingly close several times they were unable to find an equaliser and the Clan hung on for a 4-3 victory.