Stephen Dixon scored twice and Ben Bowns made 23 saves to lead the Devils to a 2-1 victory on Saturday Night.
Anytime the Devils travel up to the Storm Shelter in Manchester, it feels like they are going home. The Storm’s home venue is nearly a cookie-cutter copy of the old Big Blue Tent that the Devils played out of for nearly a decade.
The ice surface is smaller than what the Devils are used to at Viola Arena, but the atmosphere is always electric with the fans literally right over top of the teams and with a full bus of travelling supporters along with the Devils’ owners and their families, the rink was rocking on Saturday Night.
Below: Ben Bowns makes 1 of his 23 saves
The Devils got their first real opportunity with Manchester’s Cameron Critchlow called for hooking at 5:55 of the opening period. On the ensuing powerplay both units for the Devils were able to get into the zone and set up, but with the penalty ticking down Charles Linglet passed down to Matthew Myers who tapped the puck across the crease to Stephen Dixon who blasted in the opening goal at 7:57. Technically, it wasn’t a powerplay goal because the penalty had expired 2 seconds before the puck went in, but it was the Devils PP unit that made it happen.
Below: Devils celebrate Dixon's opening goal
The middle period saw the Storm get two powerplay chances of their own with Blair Riley and Mike McNamee both taking 2-minute minor penalties. The Storm had great movement but couldn’t find a way to tie the game with Ben Bowns being the best penalty-killer for the Devils with some point blank stops to keep the scoreline 1-0 after 40 minutes.
Below: Myers looks for the tip past Matt Ginn
Tyson Fawcett finally tied the game at 44:26 when he jammed in a loose puck past Bowns to make it 1-1 with just over 15 minutes to play.
The Storm’s Henrik Samuelsson was called for hooking and once again the Devils’ powerplay went to work. At 47:17 Dixon got his 2nd of the game, a tip that beat Matt Ginn off of a blast from Joey Haddad to put the Devils up 2-1.
Below: Dixon celebrates the game winner
The Storm battled for the equaliser and thought they had got it as the clock ticked down to zero, but the referees ruled the puck went into the net after the final buzzer had already went, so the Devils took home the 2-1 win.
Photo Credit: Mark Ferris