Cardiff Devils 2 - 1 Sheffield Steelers
Faceoff: 19:00 - 06/10/12
Cardiff Devils won a thrilling match at home to Sheffield with their best display of the season to date.
After a run of disappointing results and performances, Gerad Adams had a series of one-to-one meetings with every player and the results appear to be paying off. From the very first face-off every player in a Cardiff shirt showed the passion and effort the fans have come to expect from a Devils team.
Hitting everything in sight, the Devils quickly started to dominate the opening period and even a couple of early Sheffield powerplays couldn’t slow them down. When Cardiff were given a powerplay of their own after ten minutes, they soon made the Steelers pay. Tyson Marsh’s deflected shot found its way to Mac Faulkner, and he unselfishly centred the puck for Phil Hill to tap in for the opening goal.
At the other end of the ice, the Cardiff defence were limiting Sheffield to speculative shots which netminder Phil Osaer was comfortably dealing with. Ashley Tait did have the Steelers’ best chance to equalise towards the end of the period, but his shot from a tight angle missed the open net.
The Devils continued with the same work-rate and physicality at the start of the second period, and once again it drew another Sheffield penalty. Straight from the face-off on the resulting powerplay, Chris Blight’s slapshot from the blueline couldn’t be held and Faulkner pounced on the rebound with lightening speed to force the puck home and double the lead.
Though DeCaro would have been disappointed with that goal, he more than made up for it with a series of great saves to keep Sheffield in the game. The All-British line of Piggott-Davies-McKenzie in particular were causing the Steelers all kinds of problems and twice went close to scoring in a great 30 second spell.
Devin Didiomete was also having a strong game alongside Faulkner and Adam Harding, using his physicality to unsettle the Sheffield players and also showing off his puck handling skills to create chances for his linemates.
With the Steelers boasting so much firepower though they would only need one chance to score, and with two minutes remaining in the period that is exactly what they did. Cardiff looked to have intercepted and cleared the initial danger, only for the puck to fall to Matt Stephenson and he rifled the puck into the roof of the net.
Sheffield upped their game in the final period as they looked for an equaliser, but despite several powerplays the Devils defence kept them out.
With a minute remaining the Steelers pulled their netminder for the extra skate, but it was Cardiff who came closest when a long range shot deflected off a Sheffield stick only to hit the post and bounce to safety.
It wasn’t to matter though, as just seconds late the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the game and a deserved 2-1 victory for the Devils.