Devils showing special form in Elite title bid
SPECIAL teams are playing a big role for Cardiff Devils in their Elite League title quest.
Devils stand top of the table – and are number one when it comes to powerplay and penalty kill.
Coach Andrew Lord’s team lead the league’s powerplay stats on 20.86 per cent and have the best penalty-kill record on 89.74.
They are also leading goalscorers in the top flight with 112 so far.
Joey Martin is Cardiff’s leading individual scorer on 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists), while defenceman Andrew Hotham, who was man of the match in both Devils matches last weekend, is on 28 (7+21).
Sean Bentivoglio (9+18=-27), Gullaume Doucet (13+12=25) and Layne Ulmer (8+17=25) are other Devils among the leading league scorers.
Belfast Giants are visitors to Ice Arena Wales tonight (7pm) for Cardiff’s only match of the weekend and the match is already a 3,000-plus sellout.
Devils have attracted capacity attendance for four successive matches in Cardiff Bay as their title challenge builds.
Opponents Belfast are second and they have been in good form, winning nine of their last 11 games to stay in touch with Devils and climb above third-placed Sheffield Steelers.
Giants trailed Cardiff by 13 points at the start of December, but their run of success has moved Belfast back into title contention, five points behind Devils on level games.
Giants player-coach Derrick Walser says his team’s title challenge will remain alive whatever happens in Saturday’s game with four further contests between the teams taking place before the end of the campaign.
The rivals clash twice of the last weekend of the League season during March when Devils are at home to Giants on successive nights at the IAW arena.
Cardiff will be without forward Patrick Bordeleau, who is serving a one game suspension, but both teams are expected to be at full strength apart from that.
Tom Darnell will referee the game with Lee Young and Ben Connolly as linesmen.
Third in the table Sheffield edged closer to the top two thanks to a 5-2 win against the Edinburgh Capitals at IceSheffield in midweek.
Devils play only one fixture this weekend, while they take on Coventry Blaze away on Saturday, January 21, before entertaining Sheffield the following evening (6pm).
Ticket information is available from the club’s official website or by ringing 0800 0842 666.