On Saturday night as the Cardiff Devils hit the road for a meeting with EIHL new boys the Guildford Flames, Joey Martin was just one goal shy of hitting his 100th as a member of the team, something only 13 others have done before him.
Martin trailed the likes of local boys Phil Hill and Nicky Chinn who had 107 and 173 goals respectively in their time with their hometown team, as well as Canadian talents like Steve Moria who’s record of 462 goals in 373 games is likely to never be beaten.
It wasn’t the best of games for the Devils when they were all finished in Guildford, a 3 – 2 overtime loss and a mix up with the man of the match announcement may have overshadowed the achievement Martin reached that night, but not one that should be forgotten.
The Devils only managed two goals on the evening, but both were scored by Martin which saw him eclipse the 100 goal plateau.
Martin scored the opening goal of the game with just 6:28 played in the game to reach the 100 goal mark, and also struck at the midway mark of the final period of play for goal 101 to tie the game and send it to overtime, but Guildford Flames’ John Dunbar sealed the victory in just 47 seconds during the extra session.
He wasn’t done scoring there either, on Sunday night when the Devils returned home for a meeting with the Nottingham Panthers, Martin capped off a dominant start to the game, scoring the Devils fourth goal in just 11:16 played in the first period for his 102nd of his four-year Devils career.
Since joining the Devils during the 2014/15 season, Martin has been one of the team’s best players, if not the team’s best player, and also one of the best players in the entire league.
In his first season, he put up a team-best 67 points in 50 league games, and his 21 goals were tied third on the team with Brent Walton, as Jake Morissette lead the team with 23 that year, followed by Joey Haddad.
The following year, Martin had his best production to date for the Devils. His 68 points in 51 league games were 14 more than his closest contender Andrew Hotham who had 54, and he edged former EIHL 50 goal scorer Guillaume Doucet who had 24 goals, as Martin ended the year with 28 goals which were tied second in the league that year with Juraj Kolnik of the Nottingham Panthers, and trailed Mathew Sisca of the Manchester Storms with 33. Martin was named EIHL Forward Of The Year and EIHL Player Of The Year, something no Devil had done since Craig Weller in the 2010/11 season.
In last year’s title-winning season, Martin once again led the team in points scored, tied with Andrew Hotham as the both finished level on 53, and captured his second straight EIHL Forward Of The Year honours.
Now with less than half a season left to play, Martin is once again an instrumental part of the Devils lineup as they look to defend their titles they won in their historic 2016/17 campaign.
The Devils currently sit top of the EIHL standings, seven points clear of the second place Belfast Giants, and go into their midweek Challenge Cup Quarter Final meeting with the Guildford Flames with the scores tied at 3 as the Devils hope to defend that trophy as well.
With Martin currently on 14 league goals on the season already, and 40 points overall, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the conversation to potentially make it three-years straight being named the EIHLs top forward.
Feature Picture Credit: http://www.cardiffdevils.com