Glasgow’s Braehead Clan found themselves on the losing side again as Elite League champions Cardiff Devils took a 6-4 win in South Wales.
Clan were down four imports with Christoffer Bjorklund, Jacob Doty, Tyler Shattock and Ryan Potulny all out through injury.
So the task was made even harder in the absence of four key players and although Braehead were 3-1 up at one stage, couldn’t hold on in the end.
Two goals were shared in the opening period as Layne Ulmer struck first for Cardiff on the powerplay as Craig Peacock sat for tripping.
But Adam Brace redressed the balance with a PP strike of his own as Cameron Burt set him up for the equaliser.
Clan went ahead barely a minute into the second period as Peacock struck for Braehead to go 2-1 up.
Then he did it again a few minutes with a shorthanded goal as the visitors opened up a two-goal lead.
It was reduced to two not too long after as Matt Pope got his name on the board after being assisted by Tyson Strachan.
Then the Devils were level as captain Jake Morrissette led by example to score on the powerplay, but parity didn’t last long.
Patrick Asselin then put the home side in front in the final minute of the second period and they kicked on from there.
Another Ulmer powerplay strike and a second from Morrissette made it 6-3 as Clan’s shortcomings in personnel were laid bare.
Tyler Scofield scored with 13 seconds to go to close the gap to two, but the points were already staying in Cardiff.