CARDIFF Devils ice hockey players are working hard off the ice, as well as on it.
While the team has climbed to third in the league following a long unbeaten home run, many of the players are working hard studying for exams too.
Joey Martin, Joey Haddad and Leigh Salters are among the current crop of players studying MBAs (Master of Business Administration) as part of a sponsorship scheme with Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Joey Martin, one of the top goal scorers in the Elite Ice Hockey League, said: “Last year I played here and had an overall great experience, so the chance to do my schooling at the same time as playing was something that I couldn’t turn down.”
Devils coach and player Andrew Lord, a former sponsored student, said: “I played five years in the North America minors and then went to Germany for a year.
“Things were winding down and as I had a couple of bad injuries over there. I decided it was finally time to get my MBA, so I came over here.
“I moved over here three seasons ago. It was a rough first year with everything, but I jumped at the opportunity for a player-coaching role.”
There are 14 Canadian “imports” in the Devils, although this is not a unique phenomenon in the League due to the popularity of the sport in Canada.
Devils fan, Steve Atkiles said: “With the better courses you draw in the better players. Cardiff generally go with just Canadians.”
Over the weekend, the Devils won two games, beating Manchester Storm 5-2 on Saturday to achieve their 11th consecutive home win and then winning a 6-4 away match on Sunday against Coventry Blaze.
The Devils are third in the League and will be moving into the new Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay in early January.