Following Cardiff Devils’ semi-final against the Sheffield Steelers where they ran out 5-0 winners the Welsh side are into the final.
Netminder Mac Carruth spoke about his feelings heading into the first final of the season.
“Obviously as an organisation we’re excited to have a chance at the first trophy of the year, like one of the British guys explained it as.
“So, we’re excited for that and obviously we’ve been on a little bit of a rollercoaster here as a team, but we’re looking to right the ship here and just take it one game at a time.”
Elite League Form
The Devils have been going toe-to-toe with the big teams in the Elite League often flirting with the title race.
In recent weeks it’s looked as though this aim of closing in on the title may not be achieved.
The 6ft 2in goalie offered up his explanation for this, saying:
“We take it one game at a time and unfortunately we dropped one recently versus the (Glasgow) Clan.
“We came off a pretty emotional weekend against Sheffield with the Challenge Cup win and we were able to put a few past Manchester late.
“I think coming off a win like that it’s tough to go back-to-back—every game in this league is a big deal with the way it’s set up.”
“We’re used to that by this point in the season so it’s not an excuse now.”
A big 5-0 win over the defending cup champions was no easy feat to progress into the final.
Carruth believes it shows their progress as a team, saying:
“We seemed to have played well against the top teams and then kind of let our foot off the gas at times against other teams.
“I think it was good for us to play a full 60 minutes for the first time in a while and obviously it led to the win.
“It got us to the final, so that’s the main thing.”
With the Belfast Giants progressing past the Nottingham Panthers in the other semi-final Cardiff know their opposition well.
The two sides have met six times in the Elite League so will be familiar with each other.
For more Elite League analysis check out the latest Elite League Takeaways here.
Carruth believes his side have to combat the home advantage, saying:
“I think we need to come out with a good start, that’s been the key to our success all year.
“If we can get through that first period with either a one goal lead or come out even especially in their building, it’s pretty important.”
The Salt Lake City native has been the real deal this season so could really influence the score in the final.
With a 93.45 save percentage and a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 2.15 in the Elite League he’s been one of the best.
The goalie says this isn’t something he thinks about much before or even during a game.
“There’s not much going through my head during the game, I’m sure the fans will have some tweets about that quote.”
“I just try to take it one shot at a time just like everyone else in hockey and in life just control what you can control, just take it as it comes.”
With the final being played on the 16th of March it isn’t long before a new side will be lifting that coveted trophy.
Carruth seems unphased by this, when asked if he thinks Cardiff will win the Challenge Cup, he simply said:
“I believe we will.”
Who do you think will win? Let us know your predictions on Twitter @BritIceHockey.