Cardiff Devils began their Champions Hockey League and Elite League preparations with two pre-season games against Hungarian-based EBEL side Fehérvár AV19.
Saturday’s 5-2 win was the perfect start for Andrew Lord’s side, playing in front of their home fans for the first time of the new season. The Devils were on the offensive from the very beginning, and after the visitors’ Andrew Sarauer was ejected from the game for Cross-Checking just 19 seconds in, Sean Bentivoglio found the opener on the resulting powerplay. Jonathan Harty levelled the scores some sen eleven minutes later, but in the middle period goals from new-signing Masi Märjamaki and Joey Haddad put the EIHL team in control. Märjamaki made it four with just under eleven minutes to play, although Harri Tikkanen had Fehérvár back to 2-4 less than a minute later. Haddad sealed the win for the Devils with an empty netter with 11 seconds left
Sunday saw more of a response from the Hungarians, in a game which took until 28:03 to find the opening goal – another new Devil, Mike McNamee, putting the Devils ahead. Daniel Szabó levelled the game less than four minutes later, before Volán went ahead at 33:15 through Slovene Anže Kuralt. Haddad’s good weekend continued as he tied the game with just under eight minutes to go, tipping Sean McMonagle’s shot, but Fehérvár hit back with Áron Reisz’s low shot with 6:14 to play. Mikko Lehtonen’s empty net goal sealed the 4-2 win with 18 seconds left.
Cardiff continue their pre-season campaign this weekend, with back-to-back games against the new-look Nottingham Panthers.