Cardiff Devils 4 - 5 Sheffield Steelers
Faceoff: 18:00 - 10/03/13
Once again the Cardiff Devils put in a huge effort only to miss out by a single goal.
A Sheffield goal after just 19 seconds suggested it was going to be a tough night for the Devils, but slowly they got themselves back into the game and despite all that early Sheffield pressure it was the home side that scored next. Stuart MacRae skated around the whole of the Steelers’ zone before picking out Kenton Smith to score.
The goal raised the confidence of the Devils and were soon on top thanks to their superior work-rate. A cross-checking penalty against Chris Frank gave Cardiff a powerplay and when John DeCaro couldn’t hold Mark Richardson’ slapshot, Gerad Adams knocked in the rebound.
Cardiff’s dominance continued into the start of the second period where a two minute goal-blitz looked to have put them in control of the game. First Max Birbraer doubled the lead when he picked up a pass from MacRae and despite being hooked to the ice managed to slide the puck into the net. A minute later the Devils won a face-off and when Rupert Quiney’s slapshot was again not held, Luke Piggott stole in to make it 4-1.
The Devils were running riot and forced Sheffield coach Ryan Finnerty into swapping netminder DeCaro with Geoff Woolhouse. Despite the change the Devils continued to create opportunities and had several chances to make it 5-1. Had they done so that might well have sealed the game, but on a Cardiff powerplay the Steelers broke and after hitting the post Chris Frank eventually forced the puck into the net.
Cardiff were still having the better of the game but as the period ticked down they started to run out of energy. Some quick opportunism at the far post saw Jeff Legue cut the deficit to just one and then just 19 seconds later on a Cardiff powerplay Shawn Limpright raced away to tie the game. Both goals coming in the final minute of the period.
A Rod Sarich slapshot three minutes into the third period put Sheffield into the lead but Cardiff refused to give up. Despite barely having the energy to get on the bench at the end of their shifts, the Devils tried everything they could to find an equaliser. Stuart MacRae came closest but his shot deflected to safety off the crossbar and the Steelers managed to just about hang on for the 5-4 victory.