Nearly there

Photo courtesy of Helen Brabon

Devils 8 – 0 Caps

Tonight saw the champions elect face off against the struggling Edinburgh Capitals. Cardiff confidence was displayed before the first faceoff as Ben Bowns wasn’t even on the bench with backup, Murdy in net and young Lawday called up from the Cardiff Fire as backup.

The Devils got off to the start anyone would expect when playing a team with only 11 points this season. It was a good two minutes before Edinburgh had a break from defending, although there was no high intensity from the Devils attack. While dominating and coming close several times, it took the Devils 11:03 minutes before getting on the score board (Myers from Strachan and Batch). They came thick and fast after this first, taking only 1:07 to double the lead. This goal by Asselin came off a nice assist from Ulmer as he bounced the puck off the boards to himself before feeding the puck to #23 for the finish. The dominance continued with the 4th line getting plenty of ice time. The next opportunity came off the stick of Haddad, after a one on one chance was saved he was determined to get himself on the score sheet. He accomplished this with a precision shot after a pass from Martin, Joey fired his shot over the shoulder of McLaughlin to make it 3-0. The first power play opportunity of the night came for the Devils as Ferguson sat for slashing at 17:32. The special teams looked just as relaxed as when even strength. Just as the penalty looked to expire, Morissette extended the lead once again (4-0), making it look difficult for a Capitals comeback at the end of the 1st period.

Cardiff continued to govern the play in the second with Rutkis now getting some shifts. The 5th goal was the most memorable. A good eye from Crowder gave him the pass to Richardson, who was in acres of space, and he calmly took it round McLaughlin for an easy pass into the net at 23:38. A possible opportunity came for a sixth as Anderson sat for holding at 26:27. However there was no goal this time, showing a positive note for the Caps. Just as this expired, Reddick sat for interference, which gave Edinburgh an opportunity to get one past Murdy. That, however wasn’t the case as it ended with no goal. Even an immediate subsequent penalty for the Devils, when Richardson sitting for slashing at 32:54, once again proved unproblematic for the PK unit. After 13 scoreless minutes Pope grabbed the sixth for the devils After another good pass, this time coming from Reddick at 36:39. A seventh goal followed in quick succession, the scrappiest of the night. This one came from Fournier assisted by Myers and Piggott, yes Piggott (yay).

The third period was the quietest of them all as both teams looked keen for the game to end. Just as the rest of the league, the devils used this period to pad their stats, both as a team and individually. The most notable moment of the period came in the final 2 minutes as Asselin made it 8-0 with assists from Myers. That point gave Myers a grand total of 500 points in the EIHL. A great milestone for any player, which was marked by the MoM award also.

With this win and other results around the league, the Devils only require 2 regulation wins for the league title. Belfast and Fife’s losses meant they were both knocked out of the championship race, leaving only Manchester, although still unlikely.

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