Ice Hockey: Devils' hot streak puts Superleague summit in sight

Click to follow
The Independent Online
CARDIFF DEVILS can close the gap on the Sekonda Superleague leaders, Manchester Storm, to just one point with victory at Newcastle Riverkings tonight.

Paul Heavey's side have won seven of their last eight league matches, with their only blemish during that run coming against Storm. In winning their last four, including a 5-2 embarrassment of the grand slam champions, Ayr Scottish Eagles, last Saturday, Cardiff have only conceded four goals.

Breaking down a defence that tight will prove to be the biggest problem for the Cobras coach, Alex Dampier. "They are one of the strongest teams in the league now. Goaltending is one of their key areas with Derek Herlofsky having put in some inspired performances this season, along with Stevie Lyle.

"Their defence is also very solid and can contribute to the offensive side of their game, with Kip Noble being one of the highest scorers on the team. But the biggest problem is that they can score from anywhere," he said.

Cobras, in contrast to Cardiff's form, have lost three of their last four and are second from bottom.

But Heavey knows Newcastle have the ability to pull off a shock. "We haven't played them since the opening game of the league season. But all three matches have been close with no more than two points separating us," he said.

Ayr left London on Sunday wondering how they failed to take two points with them after dominating their clash with the Knights. The Scots had to settle for a share of the spoils after being held to a 2-2 draw in overtime by the Superleague's bottom team.