Cardiff Devils can bounce back after 'gut-wrenching' loss, says coach
Cardiff Devils coach Andrew Lord says his team can bounce back in the Ice Hockey Elite League play-offs after missing out on a third consecutive regular season title.
A "gut-wrenching" 3-1 loss at Coventry Blaze saw Cardiff miss out on the point they needed to finish top of the table.
They now face Sheffield Steelers in a double-header on 6 and 7 April.
"We've got more than enough character to come back strong next weekend," Lord told BBC Wales Sport.
"It's an absolutely gut-wrenching feeling, it's really hard to even put into words and explain it.
"You work nine months day-in and day-out and to lose on a tie-break it's just brutal."
Devils won the regular season title and the play-offs in 2018 - beating Sheffield 3-1 in the grand final.
Lord believes believes his team has the character to recover after Belfast Giants topped the regular season table.
"It's what defines you as an athlete and as a person," added Lord.
"We've got a heck of a hockey team here. We've played so much quality hockey all season long and it's just getting that first goal and that first period is critical for us."
Ice Hockey Elite League play-off schedule
Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze
Belfast: Saturday, 6 April (19:00 BST); Coventry: Sunday, 7 April (17:15 BST)
Cardiff Devils v Sheffield Steelers
Sheffield: Saturday, 6 April (19:00 BST); Cardiff: Sunday 7, April (18:00 BST)
Nottingham Panthers v Fife Flyers
Fife: Saturday, 6 April (19:15 BST), Nottingham: Sunday, 7 April (16:00 BST)
Glasgow Clan v Guildford Flames
Guildford: Saturday, 6 April (Faceoff: 18:00 BST), Glasgow: Sunday, 7 April (Faceoff: 18:00 BST)