In a penalty filled affair, a couple of 1st period powerplay goals by Cardiff Devils staked them to a lead they would not give up the rest of the way as the Flames fell on the road by a 6-2 count.
The visitors struggled early to stay at full manpower with 3 consecutive minor penalties over the first 14 minutes. Devils punished them on the powerplay scoring twice through Cole Sanford at 12:16 and 13:58 for a multi goal lead through an opening set that ended with Jamal Watson and Matt Register sitting the last 3+ minutes with Fighting majors.
An early 2nd period Flames powerplay didn’t get one on the board, but John Dunbar cut Flames deficit at 25:23. However, Justin Crandall had Devils back in front by a pair at 31:25 then another powerplay goal by Matt Register put the home team in command 4-1 with Ian Watters getting an early shower thanks to a 10 minute and game misconduct for abuse of officials at the time of the goal.
Early in the 3rd, Sanford completed his hat trick and extended Devils lead again, but the next faceoff could not take place until some afters that included Alex Yuill and Trevor Cox sitting with Fighting majors. At 54:38, Devils finished their scoring when Jake Coughler added their 6th and Chris Gerrie had a consolation powerplay goal for Spectrum’s men inside the last 3 minutes.
“That’s a tough night all the way around,” admitted Paul Dixon. “We had some early penalty trouble and Cardiff made sure we paid, and we cannot afford to get behind them like because they are simply too good.”
“We were frustrated all night long, and we need to let all that go now and look ahead to tomorrow at home against Glasgow. If there was ever a time when you are glad you get to play right away, this is it, and I expect we will be up for that and we can’t wait for faceoff.”