Ben Bowns picked up his 5th shutout of the season to lead the Devils to a 1-0 victory over the Braehead Clan on Wednesday Night.
The story of the first two periods was the goaltending at both ends of the ice. Through the first 40 minutes of play, Ryan Nie turned away all 21 shots he faced in net for the Clan, while at the other end, Bowns made 17 saves to keep the score 0-0 going into the final period.
The Devils thought they had scored early in the third period when Bryce Reddick rattled the puck off the crossbar. A video review of the play confirmed it was no goal. Midway through the period, the Clan also came close and thought they had scored, but a video review showed the puck had hit the post and the play was also ruled to be no goal.
The opening goal of the game didn’t come until the 50:31 when the Devils powerplay finally broke the goalless tie. With the Clan’s Landon Oslanski in the penalty box for tripping, Matt Pope scored with the man advantage, set up by Joey Martin and Layne Ulmer to put the visitors up 1-0 with less than 10 minutes to play.
The Devils had another powerplay 3 minutes later when Craig Cescon was called for checking from behind, but on the ensuing powerplay, Sean Bentivoglio took a tripping penalty and cancelled out the Devils man advantage. The Clan were left with 1:42 of powerplay time, but the Devils penalty kill unit was up to task.
The Clan pulled Ryan Nie for an extra attacker with under a minute to play, but couldn’t get the equaliser. The Devils held on for the 1-0 victory, extending their lead at the top of the Elite League table to 3 points over 2nd place Belfast Giants.
The Devils are in action this weekend twice against the Coventry Blaze – at home on Saturday and in Coventry on Sunday.
Photo: Al Goold