Cardiff Devils extended their winning streak to 12 games as Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning became their latest victims at Ice Arena Wales on Saturday.
Lightning attempted a middle period fightback after the league leaders had taken a 4-0 lead but it was, in truth, too late even by then to make a difference – the match eventually ending 6-3 in the Welsh side’s favour.
Despite the 5-2 deficit at the end of the second session Lightning refused to give up and had several great chances in the final 20 minutes but in the end Cardiff’s quality in front of goal was the main difference.
Devils took the lead on 11mins 50secs when Sean Bentivoglio’s behind the net pass was met by Matt Myers who slotted home past netminder Miika Wiikman.
Towards the end of the period MK had plenty of pressure on the Devils goal when Bryce Reddick was serving time for hooking. However it was all to no avail.
Myers was instrumental in Devils’ second goal which came on 27mins 49secs as his pass come shot was tipped in by Justin Faryna.
Penalties on Bentivoglio and Tommy Mele, both for roughing, were of no consequence to the score but Devils soon extended their advantage when Bentivoglio was credited with the goal as the final touch came off Jonathan Boxill’s skate at 31mins 6secs.
Lightning’s task became even more difficult when the hosts were able to capitalise following an unsportsmanlike penalty on Francis Verreault-Paul – Layne Ulmer registering on the powerplay at 34mins 15secs when Wiikman was unable to hold the shot.
Exactly a minute there was a glimmer of hope when Joey Haddad completely missed a pass in the neutral zone and Denny Kearney broke away to beat goalie Ben Bowns one on one.
With 3mins 11secs left on the period Mele’s behind the net pass to Verreault-Paul was delivered to Guillaume Doucet to blast in from close range.
But there was one more response from Devils – seconds after Wiikman was forced into a brilliant save he was unable to stop Andrew Hotham from making it 5-2, the puck going through the skates of Ulmer en route to goal.
Wiikman was completely unsighted with two players blocking his view when Cardiff took the tally to 6-2 on 55mins 12secs while Doucet was in the sin bin for slashing.
Back at full strength Doucet redeemed himself as he was able to break up the right and feed the puck across goal for Mele to poke into the net to make it 6-3 on 56mins 22secs.
Man of the match: Guillaume Doucet.
Photo: Cardiff Devils