Cardiff Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the time the opening set was around halfway through and then weathered a short rally before adding a couple more during a 5-3 Cup defeat of the visitors from Surrey.
Charles Linglet had the reigning playoff champs up a goal less than 2 minutes in and a pair of Stephen Dixon strikes at 6:01 and 10:23 had Devils holding a 3 goal advantage. A late period Calle Ackered powerplay reply inside the frame’s final 5 minutes had Surrey’s men on the board at the break.
59 seconds after re-start Ian Watters pulled the Flames within a goal but that was as close as they would get thanks to a quick Joey Haddad answer that re-stored the 2 goal difference that held up through 40 minutes.
At 51:49 Masi Marjamaki had the Devils initial 3 goal lead back on the board. Less than 4 minutes from close, the Flames powerplay brought it a bit closer with a Watters conversion, but the final goal of the night made no change to the ultimate outcome.
“It is going to be a tough night when you are playing the playoff champions and a team that is in the hunt or wins the league every season,” conceded Paul Dixon, “but when a team of that calibre are also able to jump on your for 3 goals not long after puck drop, the job becomes a lot more arduous.”
“When we clawed it back to 3-2 early in the 2nd, it would have been useful to have been able to hold them off the board for a significant stretch to see if we could get back to even, but they scored right away again to prevent that, and it is too much against a team like that.”
“We need to re-group Sunday, and we simply cannot let a team pounce on us in that fashion. No matter who you play it makes for a long uphill night of chasing and your odds for success go way down.”
“We get another crack at things on home ice and I am sure the guys will arrive ready to put in a strong game against Coventry Blaze.”