Todd Kelman: Devils deserve to win third trophy of the season

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Highlights: Cardiff Devils 4-3 Coventry Blaze (Agg 8-5)

Cardiff Devils general manager Todd Kelman says the his side deserve to win their third trophy of the season in the play-offs this weekend.

The Devils face Fife Flyers in the semi-final after beating Coventry Blaze 8-5 on aggregate in the quarter-final.

The Welsh side are already Elite League regular season champions and Erhardt Conference champions for 2017-18.

"These guys have played tremendous this season and we deserve to be the play-off champions," said Kelman.

"Obviously losing the Challenge Cup final at home was tough to take but I think we deserve another title."

Devils celebrate
Devils were crowned Elite League regular season champions with a 3-2 win at Belfast Giants on 16 March

The play-off championship has eluded the Devils for 19 years, including last year's agonising overtime defeat to Sheffield Steelers which denied Cardiff a grand slam.

However, Kelman says while the fans may have concerns over the Devils' history in the play-offs the players are focused on the task at hand.

"If you think about last year, everyone told us we hadn't won the league in 20 years," said Kelman.

"The fans may be thinking about it but for the team there is no jinx and no worries of a curse of not winning the play-offs.

"It's anyone's game on the weekend, we're coming in hot off the back of a league championship and we want to win so we will do everything to prepare for that."

'It will be a battle'

Devils v Flyers
Cardiff Devils have won three of their four games against the Fife Flyers this season

Fife Flyers overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Manchester Storm to reach the play-off semi-finals, stunning the Elite League runners-up.

"Nobody expected them to turn over Manchester after the Storm won the first leg 4-1 but they did it," said Kelman.

"Everyone was shocked, and they did it in Manchester which was more surprising, so you can never count them out."

Despite struggling towards the end of the season, Kelman insisted the Flyers will cause the Devils problems, and he expects a battle on the ice.

"They were neck and neck with us in the title race and then their starting goalie got injured right at the end of the season then they lost a few in a row but now he's back and playing well," said Kelman.

"They're the hot team right now so you can't take them lightly, it will be a battle and it's anyone's game in a one-game semi-final."

The play-off semi-finals and final take place over the weekend of 7-8 April at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham.

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