McMonagle beats Blaze in shoot-out
For the second time this season, Sean McMonagle was the Cardiff Devils hero as the title chasers defeated the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze 4-3 in a sudden-death shoot-out at the Viola Arena.
McMonagle scored twice in the shoot-out whilst over eight shots only Charles Corcoran found the net for the unfortunate visitors.
Coventry found themselves behind at 5.15 when an unlucky bounce off the stick of defenceman Justin Hache found its way past C.J. Motte on the powerplay. The first of three Cardiff powerplay goals being awarded to Masi Marjamaki.
The Blaze were level on 7.05 when Evan Bloodoff slotted home a rebound from a Luke Ferrara shot on the man advantage.
With another powerplay effort at 18.15, Hache hit the net at the right end to give Blaze a 1-2 lead assisted by influential Finn Janne Laakkonen and Bloodoff.
At 27.48 British defenceman David Clements playing in his 299th game for the club scored his first of the season to make it 1-3.
With the Blaze in control, Devils’ top goal-scorer Joey Haddad began to turn the tied beating Motte at 36.19 on the powerplay.
After the home side had a controversial goal disallowed, they continued to pile pressure on the Coventry goal and they found the equaliser through Captain Joey Martin on 55.29, again with the man advantage.
After the buzzer sounded on a 3-3 tie following regulation time, both teams took home a point and went to 3-on-3 overtime. Despite both teams having chances, a shoot-out was required to find a winner.
Following five shots, both teams had managed to score once through McMonagle and Corcoran. In the sudden-death, McMonagle stepped up three times, beating Motte once whilst Coventry missed all three of their additional shots for a final score of 4-3.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “I thought for two periods we were the better team, but I didn’t think our third was very good and Cardiff probably deserved to claw their way back. We looked a little stressed but in OT we had a couple of good chances but couldn’t convert. In a shoot-out you never know how it’s going to go and unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of it.”