An­other sell-out for the Devils, but no Borde­leau

South Wales Echo - - SPORT -

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.

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