Wessex Garages have once again partnered with the Devils for the upcoming season
It might have just been a pre-season encounter, but this game felt more like a playoff atmosphere inside a packed out Ice Arena Wales.
Coach Jarrod Skalde was making his home debut behind the bench on Saturday night and 18 year old local lad Bayley Harewood from Barry was in the line-up for the first time.
After an early penalty kill, the Devils opened the scoring with Josh Waller setting up Stephen Dixon who had a near empty net to shoot into to make it 1-0 just over 6 minutes into the game.
Dixon celebrates his opening goal (photo Rebecca Brain)
The Panthers levelled the score at 12:37 with Christophe Boivin firing a rocket past Taran Kozun in net for the Devils and that’s how the score remained after 20 minutes of play.
The lone goal of the middle period came at 29:45 when Mark Richardson started the play with a slick cross ice pass to Justin Crandall who set up Josh Lammon for the go-ahead goal. The Devils held the 2-1 lead throughout the second period with Kozun being tested often including a breakaway save to keep the Devils in front after 40 minutes.
Taran Kozun stopped 15 shots against the Panthers (photo James Assinder)
Josh Waller scored his first goal as a Devil on the powerplay to put the Devils up 3-1 at 44:10 then Cole Sanford made it 4-1 just over 4 minutes later with a nice setup from Brandon McNally.
Josh Waller after scoring his frist goal as a Devil (photo Rebecca Brain)
Matt Register finished off the scoring at 48:19 with an absolute bomb on the powerplay with Crandall and Sanford drawing the assists on the play. In the closing minutes of the game Brandon McNally went after Mathieu Tousignant and was tossed from the game, but the home crowd loved his passion all night long and gave him an ovation as he skated off the ice.
McNally gets in the face of Matthew Myers (photo James Assinder)
Josh Waller, Cole Sanford and Stephen Dixon all had a goal and an assist, while Taran Kozun was impressive in net stopping 15 of 16 shots he faced. The player that won the hearts of the Devils fans had to be McNally with his all-out effort every shift and his no nonsense style of play.