Cardiff Devils experienced a sobering on their return to continental action when DEL side Adler Mannheim shut them out in a 5-0 victory.
The Elite League representatives were second best in almost every department as they emerged from the Covid-forced 17 month lay-off, but simply couldn’t get near their German guests.
It can be argued there were many facets to why the Devils couldn’t find the extra gear, such as their absence, a brand new team not to mention losing the influence of their new coach, Jarrod Skalde and two of their players due to Covid protocols.
But it will serve a lesson, if not a reminder of the quality that awaits them in this competition and with Swiss side Lausanne coming to Wales on Saturday, it means they can’t dwell on this too long.
They were behind inside the first minute when Devils failed to clear the puck in their own defensive end, allowing Jordan Swzarz to execute the finish to beat home goalie Mac Carruth.
Pretty soon, Mannheim were well on top and added two goals in the space of 62 seconds halfway through the first.
Joonas Lehtivuori blasted in to make it 2-0 before they piled on the pressure again, where Moritz Wirth rifled in a third from inside the circles.
It was a difficult start as Devils’ MD Todd Kelman watched from the bench, in place of the absent Skalde.
The Germans were keen to add more to the already one-sided scoreline and had to bide their time until they did, adding the terminal blow just after the half hour mark.
Borna Rendulic was the one to get it with a well-hit wrist shot through traffic and Mannheim were four up and cruising.
Andrew Desjardins added the fifth early in the third, tipping in Wirth’s shot and the job was done as far as they were concerned.