Cardiff Devils beat Sheffield Steelers to win Challenge Cup
Cardiff Devils beat Sheffield Steelers 2-1 at the Motorpoint Arena to win the Challenge Cup.
Two goals in 108 seconds in the second period proved decisive as they lifted their first piece of silverware since winning the 2006-07 Knockout Cup.
Player-coach Andrew Lord and Chris Culligan were the scorers, and despite the loss of Matthew Myers, Cullen Eddy's reply was only a consolation.
Cardiff netminder Ben Bowns turned away 25 of the 26 shots he faced.
|Change of format|
|The final was the first to feature a single match in the Elite League era - single-match finals were previously played in the Superleague era until 2002-03|
|Cardiff previously won the Challenge Cup in 2004-05 - on that occasion they drew 4-4 with Coventry Blaze on aggregate over two matches, but won a penalty shootout 1-0|
"This is a special group of guys and it was a fantastic performance," said Lord. "I am so pleased for every single one of them, the management, the staff and the fans.
"The fans were superb and they deserve this moment. They have backed us for so long and I am thrilled for them."
The Devils settled the better of the two sides and created the early chances, and Sheffield suffered the blow of losing forward Tomas Petruska to injury in the first period.
Lord gave his side the lead from the slot (21:07) and Culligan shot through a crowd (22:55) to give the Welsh side the edge.
But they were then were dealt an injury setback of their own as Myers suffered a blow to his shoulder.
After treatment throughout the second break, he tried to return for the third period before having to watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Sheffield set up a tense finish when Eddy fired through traffic from the blueline (52:38), but Cardiff and Bowns stood firm.