Another sell-out for the Devils, but no Bordeleau
CARDIFF Devils are certain to record a fourth successive sell-out Ice Arena Wales attendance when Elite League title rivals Belfast Giants come to South Wales on Saturday (7pm).
Only 100 match tickets were left at the start of business today, with 3,000 already snapped up.
Leaders Devils have only one match this weekend and visitors Belfast, who are five points behind Cardiff having played the same number of fixtures, dare not lose.
Head coach Andrew Lord will again be on the bench, but Devils will be without Canadian enforcer Patrick Bordeleau.
He will miss the game because he has to serve a one-match ban after being thrown out for checking to the head with two minutes remaining in the game during Devils’ away match in Braehead.
The Elite League Department of Player Safety has suspended Bordeleau for one match, but did not increase the mandatory suspension.
Bordeleau will only miss Saturday’s game against Giants at IAW and will be back in the line-up the following weekend against Coventry Blaze (away) and Sheffield Steelers (home).
Devils earned three points from a possible four last weekend, losing after sudden-death overtime against Coventry and then winning a penalty shootout at Braehead Clan. All of their closest rivals, Belfast, Sheffield and Nottingham Panthers, dropped points.
“Our home match against Coventry was one of the most frustrating fixtures we’ve had this season,” said Lord. “Brian Stewart (goaltender) produced one of the best performances against us in the three years I have been here.
“Our first seven minutes as a team were phenomenal, but it’s tough when you don’t get one behind him and we made too many errors over the match.
“The work ethic was there from every player, but we have to be a little smarter in some areas.
“We showed a ton of character over that match clawing our way back and taking the game into overtime, while we then showed plenty of character in winning at Braehead the following evening.”
The loss of Bordeleau for the Belfast match means Devils will run with 10 forwards, rotating players to run four lines at every opportunity.
Ticket information for all Devils matches, including the Challenge Cup semi-final against Giants next month, is available from the club’s website or via the hotline on 0800 0842 666.
Devils have confirmed the dates for their Challenge Cup semi-final matches against Belfast Giants. The first leg will be at Ice Arena Wales on Wednesday, February 1 (7.30pm) with the return in Belfast on Wednesday, February 8 (7pm).
The home fixture is not included on 2016-17 season tickets, but those seats will be reserved for holders.
Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers clash in the other semi-final, while Cardiff host the final at their IAW home rink in March.