The Cardiff Devils excellent recent form finally paid off when they claimed the top spot in the Elite league last night.
The Devils welcomed the Sheffield Steelers to IAW last night, knowing that a victory would propel them to the top of the league.
The home side started in confident form and had the Steelers penned into their defensive zone for the first couple of shifts of the game. The man of the match Justin Faryna opened the scoring with less than two minutes of the game gone. Faryna was back in the Devils line up after sitting out the last couple of games due to a head injury and concussion.
The early score set the tone for this contest and shortly after taking the lead Devils forward Joey Martin got involved in an altercation with Steelers frontman Andreas Jamtin. Gloves were dropped in a little scuffle and both players served penalties.
To say the Steelers were overwhelmed by the Devils was a little bit of an understatement. The home side outshot the visitors by 9 to 3 in the opening period and doubled their lead through Paul Crowder after 13 minutes.
The Steelers have been on a poor run of form and looked a shadow of the team that pushed the Devils close many times last season. Even talisman Zach Fitzgerald looked very subdued. Normally the pantomime villain and often involved in any altercation Fitzy seemed out of sorts. It was his first appearance since being struck in the face with a puck and he was sporting a fully guarded helmet for the matchup.
The dominance continued through into the second period when the Devils scored another two goals with Faryna getting his second and Joey Haddad also getting on the score sheet. Some sloppy work in the defensive zone gifted Sheffield their opener but even this could not kick start them to put up a bit of fight and make a game of it.
Realistically this contest was done after two periods and the Devils seemed to drop down a couple of gears and let their Defence soak up what little threat was thrown at them. The final period ended scorelessly and the Devils will be hoping to make it another 4 point weekend when they entertain Braehead Clan on Sunday night.