Storm narrowly miss out despite heroic effort against the Devils

An outstanding effort by the Storm would somehow go unrewarded, as some poor decision-making by the referees and fortune for the Devils gave them the 6-5 victory.

A pulsating first period saw very few stoppages throughout and an excellent quickfire opening goal from Critchlow brought the home supporters to their feet in the third minute of play. A delightful interchange between Albrecht and Thompson teed up their aforementioned linemate who slapped home the puck. This would be the only goal in the period, as both defences began to cancel each other out.

An outstanding block by Dallas Ehrhardt in the 27th minute reintroduced the crowd into proceedings, as a relatively sedate start to the middle period was swiftly forgotten about. A contentious minor penalty call on VanWormer was immediately converted by the Devils through a well-aimed Sanford snipe. A little over 90 seconds later and the visitors would find themselves ahead with Dixon and Register combining. However, a well-intercepted puck by VanWormer was shifted to Hamilton whose clever five-hole finish squared the game in the 31st minute. The see-sawing middle stanza would see Hamilton secure consecutive braces against Cardiff in the 39th minute – following another well-placed shot. At this point in the game, it appeared the hosts would be heading back into the dressing room with their one-goal advantage still in place. Until an unfortunate deflection beat everyone on the ice, as the Lammon attempt ricocheted off the legs of the backskating Wilson and into the Storm net to make things level at 3 goals apiece.

The final period would be one of misfortune for the Storm, as some dubious decision-making by the officials left them dumbfounded. A powerplay goal for Cardiff through Register would be counted, despite a significant amount of blood staining the surface in the build-up, in the 43rd minute. The injured Wilson departed the ice after the goal for treatment and captain Ehrhardt quickly attempted to right any wrongs felt on the home bench. Yet, his valiant solo effort was denied by the iron in the 46th minute.

Another slice of good fortune for the Devils saw the puck rebound hard off the backboards and onto the stick of Lammon, whom gleefully tapped home the puck for his second in the game. Cardiff would extend their advantage to three-goals through a Mark Louis snapshot with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

However, the Storm would not give-up hope of earning something for their efforts, as a wonderfully set-up goal saw Ulrick benefit from an intelligent Fawcett drop-off in the 54th minute. The pressure infront of the Devils net would become substantial in the final stages of the match, as Critchlow’s precise shot on the powerplay brought the hosts within one-goal with 53 seconds remaining in the match. Despite pulling their netminder, the Storm would unfortunately run out of time to draw level, handing the victory to the Devils.