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25th September 2005
|Referee: M Hanson|
|Match complete||Cardiff Devils|
|0 : 3 : 0 = 3||Goals||0 : 1 : 0 = 1|
|11 : 16 : 3 = 30||Shots||6 : 10 : 17 = 33|
|0 : 6 : 4 = 10||Penalties in Minutes||2 : 16 : 4 = 22|
Sheffield 3-1 Cardiff Devils
Steelers awaiting the arrival of two further imports, though defenceman Regan Kelly should fly in early on Tuesday. Cardiff were missing the injured Gerad Adams (bruised ribs) and Mark Richardson.
3348 witnessed a rip-roaring game as both sides enjoyed a host of chances but Sheffield skated off with the win thanks to a middle period blitz. Devils will wonder what more they have to do to score.
After a goalless opening session which saw Devils staring the game with the unfamiliar sight of defenceman Jeff Burgoyne playing centre, Devils started the second strongly and went ahead on a 4-on-4 play. Louie Goulet cut inside on a mazey skate from the right and netted high over Jody Lehman's right shoulder (29:23). With team-mate Phil Hill having taken a 2+2+10 attempted spearing penalty 35 seconds earlier, it was just the tonic Devils wanted and, had Goulet been able to finish earlier chances, it might have been his third of the match.
As it was, 66 seconds later veteran Ron Shudra fired home from wide on the right (30:29) on the powerplay. Just over 2 minutes later Rod Sarich sent ex-Devil Warren Tait surging down the left and Paul Sample got to the crease just in time to force the pass/shot over the line (32:41). Within 4 minutes Sarich hit a bullet third goal (36:26) and Sheffield were in control.
Devils laid seige to the home net throughout the final session, Lehman somehow keeping out 17 shots as his defence ensured Devils forwards were unable to capitalise on any rebounds.
Mike Garrow's big shots from the blue line were a constant source of danger. With Sarich serving a kneeing penalty, Garrow's fine pass to Goulet at Lehman's left post looked a certain goal, but Lehman made the save.
Lehman denied Dave Matsos at point blank range after Jonathan Phillips' smart pass out from behind the net. Player-coach Ed Patterson came close with just over 5 minutes remaining as his shot from the right was blocked by Lehman but almost crept in at the far post.
Inside the final 3 minutes Stevie Duncombe was forced to up-end a Devils forward chasing the rebound to Burgoyne's shot, but Devils lost their man advantage when Vezio Sacratini was harshly penalised for interference as Jonas Lennartsson tried to break away.
Devils started the game strongly and Goulet might have netted in the fourth minute when he flew down the left wing. Home goalie Lehman committed himself at his near post. Goulet just kept skating round the back to wrap the puck, but failed to lift the puck and Lehman gathered safely.
Sheffield started to get into their stride and Mike Peron forced saves from close-in following face-offs, either side of a wristed shot from Mark Dutiaume. Dutiaume and Rod Sarich got away two-on-two with Dutiaume electing to shoot from the right but his effort flew wide. Devils were called for a too many men penalty soon after and Sheffield had 4 great chances, but Peter Aubry only had one save to make, a point-blank range effort from Andrew Luciuk after Dutiaume fed the puck out front.
Martin Masa and Dutaiume forced further saves before Cardiff had another glorious chance late in the period, this time breaking from their own zone. Jonathan Phillips went down the left with Ed Patterson inside, but defenceman Jonas Lennartsson laid on the ice to poke-check to safety. Patterson fired in from the right wing on his next shift and Steelers did well to prevent Brad Voth converting the rebound.
Another strong start in the second for the visitors and again Goulet got away down the left with Lehman at full stretch to pad the shot away nearside.
With Massa sitting a hooking penalty, ex-Steeler Kirk DeWaele blazed a glorious chance over the bar from 12 feet. But Sheffield started to press, Peron having a chance close in and Shudra firing a trade-mark rocket from the right.
Aubrey did well to blank both Luciuk and Ceman from close-range, with Brad Voth powering across the goal at the other end, but unable to get his shot away.
Then came Phil Hill's attempted spearing whilst Devils were already on a powerplay and after the initial setback of Goulet's goal, Sheffield never looked back.
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