Ice Hockey Challenge Cup: Cardiff Devils 7-1 Sheffield Steelers (Agg 9-7)

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Highlights: Cardiff Devils 7-1 Sheffield Steelers (Agg 9-7)

Cardiff Devils staged an incredible comeback to book their place in the Challenge Cup final with a 9-7 win over the Sheffield Steelers.

Despite losing the first leg 6-2, the Devils overturned the four-goal deficit with an astonishing 7-1 victory.

Layne Ulmer and Sean Bentivoglio each scored twice for the Devils with Eric Neiley scoring for the visitors.

The Devils will play the Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup final at Ice Arena Wales on Sunday, 4 March.

Reigning champions Devils knew they had to pull off a sizeable win if they were going to book their place in the final on home soil.

Bentivoglio opened the scoring for the Devils before Neiley made it 1-1 on the night for the visitors, both goals coming through powerplays.

Matt Pope restored the Devils lead half way through the first period and the home side finished the first 20 minutes 7-4 down on aggregate.

It took just 31 seconds in the second period to close the gap to two goals, Pope and Gleason Fournier setting up Ulmer for his second of the game.

Justin Faryna added the Devils' fourth goal of the night to bring the Steelers to within sight, but it was in the third period where the Devils took control.

Paul Crowder, Patrick Asselin and Bentivoglio, with his second of the night, all scored in the first three minutes of the third quarter to give the Devils their first lead of the semi-final.

For all their attacking success, Devils goaltender Ben Bowns made 23 saves during the second-leg, preserving his side's lead.

The Steelers couldn't find a way back into the game in the final period and the Devils secured their place in the Challenge Cup final on a memorable night at the Ice Arena Wales.

This will be the fourth year in a row in which the Devils have played in the final, having won two of the last three.

Devils' player-coach Andrew Lord said: "It was tough going in having given up a four-goal lead in the first leg but the guys responded and boy did they play so hard as a team and for each other.

"Honestly it's a very memorable night for the organisation in its entirety."

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