THE Cardiff Devils moved into contention with Sheffield Steelers at the top of the Elite league this weekend, after a thrilling penalty shoot out saw Stuart MacRae clinch a win against Nottingham Panthers.
The Devils followed up their 7-2 win against Hull Stingrays on Saturday with a spectacular performance in front of their home crowd on Sunday night.
The game got off to a fast and ferocious start, with an early strike from David Clarke taking the Panthers into the lead.
But Kazakhstan import Max Birbraer equalised with a goal in the 15th minute.
The Panthers came out stronger in the second period, but neither teams managed to score, with the Devils goalkeeper Stevie Lyle and his Panthers counterpart Craig Kowalski preventing either team from taking the lead. Despite an admirable effort, Alberta-born Mark Smith denied forward Panthers-player Rob Bellamy a goal.
Veteran player Adams held the Panthers to a draw in the last few minutes of the final period, with some brilliant defending by the coach, which saw the game progress to penalties.
Devils Max Birbraer and Stuart MacRae managed to balance the scores, after Jade Galbraith and David-Alexandre scored their first two penalties for the Panthers.
But when Galbraith missed his second shot, it gave the Devils a chance to take the lead.
MacRae did not disappoint and the home crowd erupted when he sent the puck firing past Kowalski to secure a win for the Devils.
This weekend marks the final two games of the regular season and Gerad Adams’ men must secure both games to claim the Elite League Title. The Reds will now take on Coventry Blaze on Saturday at home. The game kicks-off at 7pm, when the Devils will hoping to increase their unbeaten streak to eight.