Cardiff Devils 5 Glasgow Clan 3

It was a case of another sobering night as Glasgow Clan visited the second of the two top teams in the Elite League this weekend, but it wasn’t to be again.
After disappointment in Belfast last night, Clan made their way to South Wales to take on Cardiff Devils in their Elite League opener, but didn’t find the play-off winners as accommodating either.
That said, it took just under four minutes for Clan to go in front as Nolan LaPorte did well to move himself into a scoring position, from where he executed a good finish, even if it was helped by a Devils skate.
Clan enjoyed a decent first period, but found Ben Bowns in top form as he denied Scott Pitt with a glove save and a chance from Scott Tanski went wide.
The home side pulled level after 11 minutes when Mathieu Roy’s effort at the back post, sparking a break up the other end as Cardiff found some ice to move in.
Mike McNamee delivered the finish for Andrew Lord’s side and the Devils and Clan were at one apiece in an entertaining first session.
Devils had a five-on-three opportunity with Mikael Lidhammar and Linden Springer both occupying seats in the penalty box and it allowed Cardiff to edge in front.
A shot from Gleason Fournier left Patrick Killeen beaten on the powerplay and a one-goal lead for the visitors had became a one-goal deficit.
Matt Haywood tried a wraparound in the final minutes of the first, but Bowns was more than equal to it.
Killeen had to be on his toes in the second, making two key saves, one from Blair Riley and with the help of the bar as the Devils looked to add to their two.
Scott Tanski made Bowns work up the other end with a chance shorthanded, while Scott Pitt and Roy combined, but couldn’t get the killer touch.
Then with 29 seconds to go, Riley’s tip ended up past Killeen to deliver a blow to Clan after what had been a good performance in the middle stanza.
Cardiff picked up their fourth earlier in the third as Matt Pope fired in from the centre and the task was looking ever more difficult for Zack Fitzgerald and his team.
This is more so when Mark Richardson scored on the powerplay to make it 5-1 and last season’s league runners-up were very much in control of the scoreline.
Clan hit back themselves with the extra man as Matt Pufahl netted after he was set up by Pitt and the gap was reduced to three with nine minutes to go.
The away side weren’t out of it yet and when Roy finished one from close range with four to go, it gave the travelling fans that maybe something could be on here, but the Devils held on for victory.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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