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Devils plan to extinguish Coventry's Blaze.

Coventry Blaze, the most dangerous rivals to Elite League ice hockey leaders Thomson Cardiff Devils, come to South Wales next Saturday (7pm).

They have beaten Cardiff four times in five meetings this season and have already earned a hat-trick of victories on the Devils' own ice, winning twice in Elite League games and once in the Rink Cup.

Blaze are the next opponents for Cardiff, whose players have a New Year break which could benefit them in two ways.

'Every player deserves this break,' said head coach Dave Whistle, pictured left.

'It will do them all good to rest for a week and by the time we play Coventry Blaze I hope to have strengthened the squad.'

Whistle is searching for a big, tough, effective winger who will come in and have an immediate impact.

He is in talks with four potential signings, but nothing will be completed until the Elite League offices open again on Tuesday, January 4.

Coventry have a big physical edge on their team with Toronto Maple Leafs' defenceman Wade Belak, 6ft 5in tall, and powerful enforcer Andre Payette willing to drop their gloves and fight if required.

Cardiff's one success against Coventry came with a 4-2 away win in November and go into next week's clash leading the table ahead of Blaze.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:217
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