MANCHESTER STORM 2 – 6 CARDIFF DEVILS
Cardiff Devils moved joint top of the Elite League table with the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday evening, after their dominating display saw them dismantle a completely lacklustre Manchester Storm side 6-2 at the Altrincham Ice rink.
Cardiff were coming off an overtime win against the Belfast Giants at home the night before and saw them entering the contest high on confidence. For the Storm they made it two successive road wins on the bounce, as they beat the Fife Flyers up in Kirkcaldy 3-1.
From the drop of the puck it was dominated from start to finish by the South Wales side as they pulled apart a sorry Manchester side for the entire 60 minutes.
Cardiff played their traditional brand of Devils hockey as they came out from the very beginning playing a physical game and took it to the Storm.
This was never more evident than when Trevor Hendrikx picked up an interference call, with the Devils man taking Storm’s Vinny Scarsella out of the play with a huge mid ice hit.
Joey Haddad put the visitors deservedly ahead at 12:05 in the game, as play by Zach Hervato and Lee Salters saw them combine to set up Haddad, as he fired quickly by Zane Kalemba for 1-0 lead.
Manchester had a couple of efforts in the opening twenty, but there was nothing to write home about.
In the second period two early goals by player-coach Andrew Lord and Guillaume Doucet put the Devils in a commanding 3-0 lead, with the Storm looking dumbstruck at the back and looked like a set of lost souls out on the ice with no offence or defence to speak off.
The crowd sat in silence while the Devils fans cheering rang around the rink with their side completely having their way with the hosts. Patrick Valcak then tried to spark his team into life when he dropped the gloves with Andrew Lord, but even that couldn’t awake the hosts from their slumber.
Storm got a power play opportunity from the incident and saw things getting from bad to worse for the home side, with Trevor Hendrikx assisting Tyson Marsh for a short-handed goal at 32:22 for a 4-0 scoreline and after 40 minutes of play saw the Welsh side far away on top.
Manchester then had a tiny purple patch in the game, with two quick fire strikes by firstly Matt Paton and then 37 seconds later from Paul Phillips, as the Storm looked to be forcing a comeback in the game.
However their hopes were dashed by penalty trouble and that saw the Welsh side executing on their extra man advantages with two powerplay goals through Tomas Kurka with a nice finish for 5-2, and then Doucet with his second goal of the game at 49:23 to see off Manchester and condemning them to another home defeat.