The Devils head into Sunday Night trailing by a single goal after the first game of the playoff quarterfinal against the Sheffield Steelers.
Things looked pretty bleak for the Devils when they were trailing 5-1 with 16 minutes to play in the game, but a 3-goal burst in the third period pulled them back within a goal heading into Sunday’s second leg.
The Steelers opened the scoring with a strike from Robert Dowd that beat Ben Bowns at the 4:26 mark, which ended up being the only goal of the opening period.
Layne Ulmer tied the game for the Devils with a rebound goal after Jackson Whistle stopped the initial shot from James Livingston at 22:20 to make it 1-1.
Dowd doubled the Steelers lead with his 2ndgoal of the game at 29:10 to put the hosts up 2-1 midway through the period. Then at 30:48, James Livingston was given 2 minutes for tripping and a 5-minute major penalty for spearing.
The Steelers scored twice on the ensuing powerplay, first it was Jordan Owens at 31:28 then John Armstrong less than a minute later at 32:15 to give them a 4-1 lead that they took into the locker room after 2 periods of play.
The Devils opened the third period on the powerplay, but it was the Steelers who scored to take a 5-1 lead with a shorthanded goal from Armstrong at 41:07.
The Devils pulled one back at 45:31 with Sean Bentivoglio slamming home a loose puck to make it 5-2. At 54:20, Joey Martin picked up a wayward shot from Charles Linglet and beat Jackson Whistle to pull the Devils within 2 goals.
A late penalty called on the Steelers gave the Devils one more chance to pull the game closer and they did just that with Bentivoglio scoring his 2ndof the game with just under 2 minutes to play to make it 5-4.
The game finished with the Devils losing by a single goal, but they will be happy to take that back to Cardiff for Sunday’s 2ndleg after trailing by 4 goals with under 16 minutes to play.
Photo Credit: Dean Woolley