Joey Martin
Man of the Match


The Devils hosted the Coventry Blaze on Friday night at Vindico Arena with 5 players on Team GB duty.  Ben Bowns, Mark Richardson, Ben Davies, Evan Mosey and Josh Waller were all unavailable for Cardiff while the Blaze were missing Johnny Curran and David Clements as well.

Tyler Wall got the start for the Devils while at the other end it was former Devil Taran Kozun in net for the Blaze. 

The visitors got off to an ideal start, scoring on their first shot on goal.  Blake Thompson stepped into the Devils’ zone and hammered a slapshot past Wall to make it 1-0 just 49 seconds into the game to silence the sold out crowd. 

Two minutes later it looked like the Devils had equalised through a redirected puck off the stick of Tyler Busch but after a video review, the goal was called off and it remained 1-0 for the Blaze.

Things got worse for the Devils when Ian McNulty tipped in a shot from Kobe Roth to double the lead for the Blaze just 7:40 into the game.  Despite the Devils getting some good pressure in the Blaze zone, the period ended with Coventry leading 2-0. 

A turnover forced by Brandon Alderson led to Joey Martin setting up Cole Sanford for a nifty move to beat Kozun between his legs and make it a one goal game at 25:11, but that was all the scoring in the middle period.  The Devils trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. 

The Blaze made it 3-1 just 8 seconds into the third period when J.D. Dudek took advantage of some sloppy defensive play by the Devils and beat Wall with a shot from close range. 

The Devils did not let their heads fall when they went down by two, and in fact seemed to get some more jump after Coventry’s third goal. 

At 45:40, Ryan Barrow got the comeback started when he tipped in a shot from Cody Donaghey to pull the Devils within one, making it 3-2 with just under 15 minutes to play. 

Three minutes later a poor clearing attempt by the Blaze was mishandled and ended up on the stick of Marcus Crawford who slid the puck to Tyler Busch for a wide open net and the game tying goal at 48:57. 

Then with less than 3 minutes to play, Joey Martin tried sliding the puck onto the stick of s streaking Trevor Cox who swiped at the puck then Sanford tried and missed but Martin followed his own pass that was somehow lying in front of Kozun uncovered and he chipped it over the Blaze netminder for the go-ahead goal at 57:28 to complete the comeback. 

With Kozun pulled and the Blaze piling on the pressure, Trevor Cox patiently waited to find Sanford who fired the puck into the empty net with 1 second left on the clock.  A superb third period with 4 goals for the Devils and a comeback victory that looked out of reach at the start of the third period. 

Tyler Wall ended with 25 saves and Joey Martin picked up Man of the Match for his two point effort, including the game winning goal.  Cole Sanford finished with 2 goals and Cody Donaghey had 2 assists.


Photos courtesy of James Assinder and Rebecca Brain

Game Highlights

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