In the Cardiff Fire’s first year in the NIHL 1 South, they’ve made the most of having the ability to have four import players at their disposal.
This year, Mark Cuddihy has iced all four of his imports, with Rob Sedlak from Slovakia icing when the team are in need of some extra bodies, while Australian David Manning is showing his promise in his first year in UK hockey as one of the teams top point producers. Also impressing is young defenceman Kalle Alner from Sweden, while his fellow countryman Viktor Langseth has also shown his promise when called upon to play for the Fire, which is not a bad feat for a player who was playing recreational Ice Hockey for the Cardiff Ice Hounds just last season.
The 21-year-old Swede who played for Gnesta IK’s junior 18 and 20 teams while still living in Sweden, has shown a maturity to his game way above his age in his debut season in the UK.
“I recently moved to the UK and I heard that the Fire had a try-out about 2 seasons ago and since the Devils NIHL team split up for that year, I went down for the Fire trials,” Langseth explained midway through the season.
“I found out about the import rules so I played with the Ice Hounds for a season and then had the opportunity to join the Fire boys when they expanded into the second tier of British Ice Hockey”.
“It’s a lot of change, comparing it to last season in a Rec League. I find it more challenge than I thought especially with such a limit to ice time. A maximum of two ice practices a week is just not enough in this league”.
In 10 games this year for the Fire, Langseth has shown his defensive prowess while allowing the more offensive players around him to work. Not one to shy away from physical play, it’s no surprise that one of his influences growing up was Detroit Red Wings veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
“Both on and off the ice I always looked up to the older players down the rink, the senior team were always where you wanted to get in the end”.
“For me, hockey was never the biggest thing in my life as a kid. I have played all different supports and it’s unfortunately not until the last couple of years where it has become a bigger part of my life”.
“I have always looked up to players such as Nicklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Backstrom”.
Despite not always being on the game sheet week in week out, Langseth has shown his pride for playing for the Cardiff Fire with his social media activity and is always a familiar face off the ice during Fire home games.
“I find it being more of a ‘get in the zone’ type of play here, whilst Sweden has more of a ‘going up together in a group’ which is a bit different to what I’m used to”.
“I have played my junior years in two Swedish clubs and when stepping up to the J18 & J20 we climbed up to division 1 in both”.
I took two years off when I was 17 & 18 due to travelling which I feel was bad for my personal development in the sport, but still being 21 I hope I am still young and will be playing the game for some time”.
With a few games left in the Cardiff Fire season, Langseth may have more chances to show off his talents on the ice, but while still young and adapting to the UK style of play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him remain with the Cardiff Fire next year and fight his way up the line-up.
Photo Credit: http://www.jamesassinder.co.uk/