By Paul Woloszyn
At the National Ice Centre, Nottingham
Cardiff Devils booked their place in the Elite League play-off final after beating Coventry Blaze in Nottingham.
Sample squeezes the puck past Trevor Koenig for the Devils' second
Goals from player-coach Gerad Adams, Paul Sample and Nathan Rempel gave Cardiff victory against this season's league and Challenge Cup winners.
The Devils held on despite a late Blaze fightback with a Rumon Ndur effort adding to Samy Nasreddine's strike.
Cardiff will meet Nottingham Panthers in Sunday's final after they overcame Belfast Giants on penalties.
Cardiff began the brighter and, after Alex Symonds had hit the post in the third minute, they took the lead on 13 minutes when Adams flicked in from just inside the blueline on the first powerplay of the game.
Just over two minutes later, they doubled their advantage when Sample converted from close range after Mark Smith's effort had been stopped by Coventry netminder Trevor Koenig.
Despite a goal back from Samy Nasreddine seven minutes into the second period, Coventry fell two goals behind once more on 30.23 when a Tyson Teplitsky pass set up Rempel to shoot low into the net.
Coventry, who tasted play-off success two years ago, came out fighting in the third period with Ndur getting a powerplay goal on 47.38 after a goal-mouth scramble.
But they were unable to find a goal that would have forced the game into overtime as Cardiff, who last won the play-off crown in 1999, held on for a deserved win.