Sat 28 Feb - In the opening Superleague Play-off game on in Group A, Sheffield Steelers travelled to Newcastle Arena to face the Cobras. In the fourth minute, Scott Allison scored two goals to put them on course for the expected victory. Majic pulled a goal back after 32 minutes but Nicky Chinn gave Sheffield their two goal lead back on 36 minutes. Shortly afterwards both teams had a large amount of penalties dished out. For Sheffield, Ed Courtenay got 10 minute minsconduct, Nicky Chinn got a 2+2+game for leaving the bench and Scott Allison 5+game for spearing. For Newcastle Cobras, Ross lambert for a 10 minute penalty for misconduct and Vani received 5+game for excessive rough play AND 2+2+twenty for leaving the bench. That saw the end of Sheffield's scoring, but Newcastle weren't finished. Stewart scored after 43 minutes and La Scala scored two minutes later. With the score 3-3 the game went to overtime. After 4 minutes, Stewart scored the winner and Cobras scored an unexpected 4-3 win.
Thu 26 Feb - In an attempt to win the ice hockey Grand Slam, Ayr Scottish Eagles faced Bracknell Bees in the Express Cup Final at Newcastle Arena on Thursday night. It took just 36 seconds for Ayr to stamp their authority on the game with an unassisted opener from Mittelsteadt. It was 2-0 four minutes before the end of the first period as Groleau scored on the powerplay. Just into the second period, Ayr looked to have sewn up the match when Groleau scored again to put them 3-0 up. The second half of the game saw a transformation by Bracknell Bees as they pulled a goal back on 33 minutes from Ferraccioli. On 38 minutes Bracknell scored again with Burke getting the goal to set up an exciting last period. The Bees could not get the third goal though and Ayr secured yet another trophy.
In the absence of Jim Hrivnak, Kris Miller won three awards at the awards night run by the Storm supporters club, Stormforce. The full set of awards, with the majority voted for by members of Stormforce, are as follows: "Galaxy 102" Player Of The Year - KRIS MILLER. "Key 103" Defender Of The Year - KRIS MILLER. "NM&R Express" Players Player - KRIS MILLER. "Ice Line" On The Road Player - KEVIN HOFFMAN. "BBC GMR" Forward Of The Year - STEFAN KETOLA. "M.E.N." Most Improved Player - STEPHEN COOPER. There was also the confusing Magnificent Seven Media Award, which gave awards to the media for promoting Storm. The awards went to: BBC GMR Sport (for their news and coverage of Storm), Chris Brierley - Manchester Evening News Storm reporter, Paul Anthony - Galaxy 102 (for doing some interviews presumably), Andy Costigan (for commentating on GMR), Andy Costigan (for talking on the expensive Ice Line), Andy Yates - Manchester Evening News photographer, Keith Maddock - Ice Line.
Stefan Ketola is reported to have received a twelve month driving ban and a 400 pound fine (plus 40 pound costs) for drink driving.
Sun 22 Feb - BEES BEATEN IN HIGH SCORING GAME. Storm played the final Superleague game of the season against the visiting Bracknell Bees on Sunday night. Almost 12,000 fans saw a high scoring game that Storm looked to have sewn up early in the game, but almost managed to throw away. Eric Flinton scored after five minutes but Bracknell scored two goals from Brant and Crawford to give them a 2-1 lead. Then came a blitz on the Bracknell goal from Storm as they scored four times in four minutes around the half hour. Eric Flinton scored two of the goals to gain his first ever hat-trick. Stefan Ketola and Kevin Hoffman scored the other two. Ward scored for Bracknell on 36 minutes to make it 5-3. The third period saw two more Storm goals from Mike Morin and Craig Woodcroft. Bracknell then came back into the game with three goals in six minutes from Gomes, Whistle and Brant to make it 7-6. A tight finish was inevitable, but with just nine seconds left on the clock Hilton Ruggles wrapped it up with an empty net goal and Storm had the win 8-6.
Also on Sunday, on the final day of the Superleague regular season, Sheffield Steelers travelled to newly crowned champions Ayr Scottish Eagles. Steelers couldn't spoil the day as Ayr won the game 3-2. In Cardiff there was a shock result as bottom club Newcastle Cobras got a rare win over last season's champions Cardiff Devils. Cobras won 5-3.
Sat 21 Feb - STORM THRASH STEELERS 6-1. With netminder troubles still foremost in the minds of the Storm players and fans, the team took on big rivals Sheffield Steelers in Sheffield on Saturday night. Despite Sheffield looking strong early on, it was Storm who led after the first period from an eleventh minute Stefan Ketola goal. Storm put Sheffield under pressure in the second period as they scored three more times from Dale Jago (2) and Craig Woodcroft. With one minute of the game remaining the score was 6-0 following third period goals from Jeff Jablonski and Brad Rubachuk. Tim Cranstonís last minute goal that ended Grant Sjervenís hopes of a shutout took nothing away from a great team performance that secured Storm the runners-up spot in the Superleague.
Also on Saturday, struggling Nottingham Panthers travelled to Basingstoke Bison and won 3-2 after overtime. Cardiff Devils travelled to Express Cup finalists Bracknell Bees and were defeated as Bracknell won 6-5 after overtime.
Early on Friday morning, news was starting to break of Stormís ex-NHL netminder Jim Hrivnakís departure. It was common knowledge that Jim was unhappy that he wasnít to be offered a new contract before the end of the season. The rumours became reality as Port Huron Border Cats of the United Hockey League announced that their number two netminder John Lorenzo had been released to play in the UK for Storm. After the transfer deadline, you are only allowed to sign a netminder as cover for your current minder, so with Grant Sjerven still available, Lorenzo is unlikely to get any ice time. It turns out that Jim Hrivnak had threatened not to play any more games until he got a new contract - and so Storm decided that the answer was to release him. After watching Sundayís game at the Nynex Arena from an executive suite, Jim has now returned to Canada for a week before he sets off to spend the summer in Florida.
Thu 19 Feb - In the 2nd leg matches of the Express Cup semi-finals, Bracknell Bees travelled to Sheffield Steelers with a 3-1 lead from the first leg. With three minutes on the clock, Pellerin scored a powerplay goal to give Bracknell a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, Ken Priestlay equalised before Pellerin scored again after 13 minutes. Tim Cranston made the score 2-2 five minutes later and Bracknell led 5-3 on aggregate. Ward scored for Bracknell with 34 minutes on the clock and then in the final minute of the second period, Tony Hand scored for Steelers. Rob Wilson brought put Steelers 4-3 up on the night - 6-5 down on aggregate with two minutes left and then it was left to Brant to wrap up the game with an empty net goal that levelled the scored on the night at 4-4 but gave Bracknell a 7-5 aggregate win. In the second semi final, Ayr Scottish Eagles thrashed Nottingham Panthers 12-4 at the Centrum Arena. It was 4-4 from the first leg and Nottingham were expected to keep the game tight. Jamie Leach gave Panthers an early lead after 12 minutes, but this just encouraged Ayr. A minute later it was 1-1 from Purdie. Scott Young put Ayr ahead after another minute. Nottingham equalised on the powerplay with a De Angelis goal after 16 minutes and Shawn Byram then gave Ayr the lead just before the end of the first period and they led 7-6 on aggregate. Biette scored shorthanded for Ayr at the start of the second period and the fifth came just before the half hour from Biette. Another minute later it was 6-2 on the night with a goal from Parco. Groleau scored on 37 minutes to give Ayr an aggregate lead of 11-6 at the end of the second period. Premak pulled a goal back for Nottingham at the start of the third period from Premak. After 46 minutes it was 8-3 as Shawn Byram scored for Ayr. A minute later Byram got his hat-trick as Ayr now led 13-7 on aggregate. The next goal was for Nottingham as Hadden scored shorthanded on 52 minutes. It was 11-4 on the night as Young and Woolf scored for Ayr. The final goal of the game went in after 57 minutes with Biette scoring his hat-trick. This meant that Ayr won the game 12-4 on the night and 16-8 on aggregate. The two finalists meet in the Express Cup Final at Newcastle Arena on Thursday 26 February.
The North Manchester Express newspaper has been following the contracts debate and printed a quotes from Kurt Kleinendorst and Mike Morin on the subject. Kurt said the following on the subject, "I've told the likes of Neumeier, Jablonski and Morin I'd like them back next season, but it is going to have to wait until after this season is over. They have all accepted it apart from Jimmy (Hrivnak). He's the one struggling with it. I'd like to think he'll be back next year, but at the moment I don't know." Mike Morin (having been told that he is wanted next season) said the following, "Talk of next year gets us a little off track. If you get offered a contract before the season's over, it's a huge bonus and shows great faith on Kurt's part. If you don't, you've just got to continue working hard to the end of the season when you should get the fruits of your labour in the form of a new deal. We all want to come back, this is our job, our career, and Manchester is one of the best places in Europe, you can't ask for anything better. But being asked about the future is only an added distraction. It worries me and affects me but I have to put it to the back of my mind and get on with playing. We're all coming together as a team now and second would be a great improvement on last year and something to be proud of, then we can go all out for the playoffs." Kurt is said to have totally and utterly refuted reports that he was leaving Storm and insisted that he'll be here next season. Craig Woodcroft said the following about the 2-1 win in Ayr, "There was no way in hell were they going to lift that trophy in front of us".
Sun 15 Feb - STORM WIN THE GAME BUT LOSE THE SUPERLEAGUE. The Superleague title had at least reached the penultimate Sunday. Manchester Storm faced Cardiff Devils at home, whilst Ayr also at home, faced bottom club Newcastle Cobras. Surely there was no way that Ayr could not win it - but it was very close in the end. Stormís game faced off 15 minutes late due to crowd congestion with Ayrís game starting just five minutes later at 6.20pm due to live SKY screening of the latter part of the game. Ayr needed a point to wrap the league championship if Storm beat Cardiff. Hilton Ruggles scored the opening goal with three minutes remaining of the first period. The game remained tight as news from Ayr filtered into the crowd. Ayr were 0-0 at the end of the first and still 0-0 at the end of the second period. Storm kept their dreams alive as Rick Brebant doubled the lead on 46 minutes. Cardiff immediately pulled a goal back from McCarthy just as Ayr scored in their game. The minutes ticked down very slowly as all attention turned to game in Scotland. Many fans used mobile phones to call friends watching the other game on TV and relayed the information to the crowd. Newcastle pulled their netminder in the last minute and with their net wide open, the killer goal was scored and Stormís hopes finally ended.
Also on Sunday in the Superleague, Sheffield Steelers gained some revenge for the maulings that Nottingham Panthers have given them by defeating their rivals 9-3 at the Sheffield Arena. By the time there were nine minutes on the clock it was already 4-0 to Steelers. David Longstaff, Tony Hand, Ken Priestlay and Tommy Plommer scoring the goals. Frank Kovacs scored a short handed goal after 17 minutes to make the score 5-0. Nottingham started a mini-revival at the start of the second period with Weber and Carpenter scoring at the start of the peirod. Ron Shudra scored on the powerplay thirty seconds later to make it 6-2 and then on 37 minutes it was Ed Courtenay who made it 7-2 to Sheffield. Courtenay scored again two minutes into the third period and then Rob Wilson scored after 49 minutes and Nottingham were 9-2 down. With six minutes remaining, Brent Bobyk finished the scoring with a Panthers goal to end the game 9-3. Bracknell Bees faced Basingstoke Bison at home and overcame their rivals 3-2 after overtime. Brant scored for Bees after 14 minutes but then three minutes later Black scored a short handed equaliser. Black then scored again after 24 minutes to put Bison 2-1 in the lead. McCosh equalised after 39 minutes and there was no more scoring until overtime. Ferraccioli scored the winner for Bracknell four minutes into overtime and Bees kept up their challenge for fifth place above Sheffield Steelers.
The Sheffield Star reported last week that Steelers coach Alex Dampier is the number one target to become the new coach of Newcastle Cobras next season replacing Dale Lambert. Dampier has also been linked with the new London Docklands team. His comments on the subject were: "All I'm doing right now is seeing out the rest of the season with Sheffield and then I will wait and see what happens after that. I don't have a contract with Sheffield, so I am a free agent and free to talk to whoever I want, but it's not something I'm really worried about right now. I've never bothered looking at other possibilities until the end of a season. But it's also a question of whether Sheffield want me to stay." The News Of The World reported that Peter Woods will be taking over as Manchester Storm coach at the end of the season. The reasons given were that Kurt Kleinendorst's family are having trouble settling here. Peter Woods's contract with Basingstoke Bison runs out at the end of this season. Meanwhile Bison have been told by Civic Leisure that funds the team that they will not be funding them next season. Unless another suitable franchise is found, the Bison may drop out of the Superleague. Incidentally, GMR immediately reported that the rumours of Kleinendorst's impending departure were false.
The team that hosted Storm's first ever game may well be up and running again soon with a new rink opening shortly in Milton Keynes. It is claimed that the rink will not be big enough for the Superleague, and the new team may well be playing in the English League or possibly the British League depending on the consortium that will run the team. The latest report is that Tony Oliver, the man behind the potential British League team has been denied his chance by the rink management, who are preferring the English Leagues setup. A survey of 375 Milton Keynes Kings Supporters Club members showed that the British League team was favoured by 367 of them. The opening of the rink will probably be in a few weeks time. It is claimed that there will be "something different, not available at any other rink in Europe".
Sat 14 Feb - BISON BEATEN AS STORM CAN ONLY HOPE. Storm kept their hopes alive on Saturday night with a 5-2 victory at Basingstoke Bison. Conway scored for the next-to-bottom team with four minutes on the clock and Brad Rubachuk equalised for Storm three minutes later. The Bison were 2-1 ahead after 22 minutes with a goal from Teeple, but the second half of the game saw four unanswered goals from Mikael Wiklander, Craig Woodcroft, Stephen Cooper and Rick Brebant.
Also on Saturday in the Superleague, Cardiff Devils travelled to Newcastle Cobras and shutout the bottom club 6-0. Bracknell Bees improved their chances of finishing fifth in the Superleague by winning 5-3 at Lower Parliament Street against Nottingham Panthers.
Following the departure of Dominic Maltias back to play for Hampton Roads Admirals, Kurt Kleinendorst is quoted as saying, "As long as I am in charge of this club I will never again be placed in that sort of position by a French Canadian player". Dominic walked out on Storm long after the transfer deadline leaving Storm shorthanded for the rest of the season.
There has been talk recently of Jim Hrivnak's future at Manchester Storm. Kurt Kleinendorst says that Hrivnak wants to sign a new contract, but that he isn't to be treated differently from the other players, who are all currently contracted only to the end of the season (except Kris Miller, who was awarded an extended contract earlier in the season - unless this wasn't true of course). Other players who are wanted next season, Kurt says, have only been verbally told this and no contracts will be signed before the end of the season. However, it is no secret that many of the players have already booked their planes out of Manchester as soon as the day after the Superleague play off final and indeed have had them booked for some time. It has to be hoped that any players that slip the net don't get tempted to stay overseas.
Wed 11 Feb - The second semi final of the Express Cup took place between Nottingham Panthers and Ayr Scottish Eagles. Premak scored the first goal for Nottingham after nine minutes. Biette equalised for Ayr six minutes later but Paul Adey put Nottingham back in front after 16 minutes. Ryan Kummu made it 2-2 two minutes before half time with a goal for Ayr Scottish Eagles. Knox put Nottingham Panthers back in front after 22 minutes but Parco and Purdie scored to put Ayr 4-3 up. Jamie Leach equalised for Nottingham two minutes before the end of the second period and there were no more goals in the third period. Nottingham Panthers will be hoping to pull off a shock and win at the centrum Arena in the second leg.
Tue 10 Feb - Sheffield Steelers travelled to Bracknell Bees in the first leg of the Express Cup semi final. After seven minutes of the game, McCosh opened the scoring for Bracknell. Jamie van der Horst equalised for Sheffield after 30 minutes and then Bracknell won the game in the third period. Pellerin scored after 47 minutes and then Whistle scored with four minutes remaining to set up a tense second leg in Sheffield.
Plans have been announced for a 20,000 seat indoor arena in the Liverpool area. It is said to be sited on the old garden festival site in the city. There has been no specific announcement for an ice hockey team to play out of the complex, but if a team were to exist, they would have to buy part of Storm's North West franchise the same way that Leeds have bought part of Sheffield's franchise for their Lasers team. The last Liverpool team to play in the city was the Liverpool Leopards.
According to reports, the European Hockey League recently held their first ever meeting in the UK at the Nynex Arena. They were discussing the Wildcard entrants for next year's competition. It is said that Manchester Storm were the only team that met the requirements for a wildcard team of the teams put forward.
Sun 8 Feb - STORM SHOCK AYR TO PROLONG SUPERLEAGUE. Storm travelled to Ayr to see if they could stop the Scottish team from getting the one point they needed to clinch the Superleague title. After a goalless opening period, Craig Woodcroft scored to put Storm 1-0 ahead two minutes into the second period. Sam Groleau levelled for the Eagles shortly afterwards and the Superleague title now looked destined for Scotland. One point was all that Ayr needed - even an overtime defeat would have been enough! Craig Woodcroft scored with just 20 seconds remaining to spoil the premature celebrations and keep Stormís slim hopes alive.
Also on Sunday in the Superleague, Bracknell Bees defeated Sheffield Steelers 6-5 at the Sheffield Arena after overtime. Brant opened the scoring for Bees after six minutes and then Junkin made it 2-0 six minutes later. Ed Courtenay made it 2-1 five minutes into the second period and then Kelman restored the two goal lead for Bracknell with a third goal on 30 minutes. Mike Ware, Nicky Chinn and Tommy Plommer scored goals in just two minutes and Steelers led 4-3. Bracknell came back two minutes later with the equaliser. Nicky Chinn thought he'd won it for Steelers with three minutes left and then with just 47 seconds remaining Brant equalised at 5-5. The game went into overtime and Gomes scored the winner three minutes into the extra period. Newcastle Cobras faced Basingstoke Bison in Newcastle Arena in a battle of the bottom two clubs. Xavier Majic scored after 18 minutes to give Newcastle Cobras the lead. Basingstoke soon equalised from Shewan and that was it for goals and entertainment! The second, third and overtime periods were all goalless and the bottom two clubs got a point each. Cardiff Devils faced Nottingham Panthers in Cardiff and won 3-1. Moria, Cooper and MeEwan scored for the Welsh side, while Laxdal scored for Nottingham.
Sat 7 Feb - In the final Express Cup group game, Bracknell Bees came from 4-2 down at the end of the second period to defeat Newcastle Cobras 6-5. In the Superleague, Cardiff Devils travelled to Basingstoke Bison and won 4-2. Ayr Scottish Eagles are now just two points from the Superleague title after they won 5-2 at Nottingham Panthers. Shawn Byram cored twice for Ayr. Ayr would win the Superleague if they beat Storm in their next game at the Centrum Arena.
Thu 5 Feb - STORM DRAW 3-3 IN NEWCASTLE. Manchester Storm travelled to Newcastle Cobras on Thursday night in their final Express Challenge Cup group game. Duberman opened the scoring for Newcastle on 6 minutes. Hilton Ruggles scored for Storm on 23 minutes and then Majic scored for Newcastle 2 minutes later to make it 2-1 at the end of the second period. Dale Jago made it 2-2 after 43 minutes but Newcastle made it 3-2 on 51 minutes from Smith. Brad Rubachuk equalised with 40 seconds remaining to send the tie into overtime. No further goals were scored and so Storm's semi-final chance was wasted due to other results. Some reports say that the table is sorted on wins when both teams have the same point, whilst others claim it is goal difference. If it is wins then Storm are already out.
Also on Thursday in the other Express Challenge Cup ties, Bracknell Bees almost certainly lined up a semi-final place with a shock 6-1 victory in Cardiff. MacWilliams opened the scoring for Cardiff after 29 seconds and then McCosh equalised for Bracknell after 11 minutes. Brant put Bracknell into the lead on 15 minutes and Gomes made it 3-1 after 26 minutes. Junkin made it 4-1 ten minutes later and then two further goals in the final period from Brant and Whistle sealed the game for Bees. Meanwhile Nottingham Panthers travelled to Basingstoke Bison and won 9-3. It was 5-1 to Nottingham after the first period. By the end of the second period it was 7-2 and then game then ended 9-3.
The following is a report from the Press Association (by Ian Parkes, PA Sport): The Ice Hockey Superleague are poised to award a Birmingham franchise by the end of the month - with American millionaire businessman Blake Cullen heading the running. Cullen has made his name in sports in America having been assistant general manager and vice-president during an 11-year association with Major League baseball club, Chicago Cubs. This was followed by 11 years helping to run the National League office of Major League, before moving into ownership, firstly with Minor League clubs and then until recently an eight-year spell of ice hockey's Hampton Roads Admirals in Virginia. Cullen had been considering a buy-out of the currently up-for-sale Sheffield Steelers, but has decided to direct his attention on setting up a Birmingham team at the NEC - although he faces competition from another consortium. Superleague, however, apparently favour Cullen's proposal as he first approached ISL about the franchise and his plans closely mirror those of the owners of National Hockey League giants Los Angeles Kings, who this week acquired the London franchise at the Docklands Arena. Anschutz Sports Holdings are a British subsidiary of Anschutz Properties Company, who have the majority shareholding in the Kings and two Major League Soccer teams - Colorado Rapids and Chicago Fire. ASH's 7 million pound investment sees them become sole owners of the team and equal shareholders with SMG Management in the Arena. Cullen admits his package is similar, with his bid boosted due to the backing of private investors eager to establish what would become Superleague's 10th team. Negotiations with league chief executive Ian Taylor and the NEC's owners have been on-going for the last few months and are set to continue for the next two to three weeks. Superleague will hold a board meeting on February 28 when it is expected they will make a decision on who will be Birmingham's owners, with the team to be up-and-running for the start of the 1998 season along with London. Speaking to PA Sport from his Virginia home, Cullen said: "I am very hopeful Superleague will look upon my proposals favourably. "The talks I have had with Ian Taylor have been good, but unsurprisingly he remains neutral because there is another group who have expressed an interest in a Birmingham team. "Basically, it seems that whoever gets the deal done with the NEC will get the franchise, but the discussions I've held with them have also been promising. "Superleague has a board meeting on February 28 when I hope they will make a decision. I've certainly inked that on my calendar as D-Day. "If I do get the franchise I want to get things moving as soon as possible. I want to get the word out and to let people know we're hot. "I can't afford to wait until May or June for an answer. There just wouldn't be time to put together the plans for the NEC and the team." Cullen admits his investment does not match that of London, but then the NEC does not need to be as extensively refurbished as the Docklands Arena. It is estimated setting up a Birmingham team would cost around 4 million pounds, and having had opinion polls conducted in the area, knows there is the fan base to support a side he already sees as being called the Bulldogs, or even his favourite from when he owned Hampton, the Admirals. - Since this report was written, reports have come from the Superleague that there is doubt that the deal could be completed in time to secure the launch in time for the start of next season.
Wed 4 Feb - In the Express Cup at the Centrum Arena, Ayr Scottish Eagles defeated Newcastle Cobras 6-1. Newcastle opened the scoring on 17 minutes from Duberman but Ayr quickly equalised to level the game at the end of the first period. In the second period, Montanari made it 2-1 before Woolf scored to make it 3-1 after 35 minutes. In the third period there were three more Ayr goals from Woolf, Montanari and Parco and Ayr sealed this unimportant victory.
Kurt Kleinendorst has announced that next season's pre-season will have a different look. The players will have arrived in Manchester in early August and meet at the Nynex Arena on the 10th. They will have their flats and cars and things given to them then as well as having a short training session on the ice. Two days later, the team will fly to Germany and Switzerland to take part in a number of games whilst on tour. The players were supposed to be going to Scandanavia this season but things were changed when Kurt arrived. They will be touring for two weeks playing five or six competitive games. The domestic season will begin in late August with the War of the Roses postponed from this season's pre-season. This will include one game at the Nynex Arena and then the return in Sheffield (not necessarily in that order!) The Benson & Hedges Cup will then begin. No further friendly matches at home have been arranged (yet!)
The pressure is now on Manchester Storm in the closing stages of the season as Dominic Maltais has left the club and returned to home to North America hoping to return to play in the East Coast Hockey League. He could well be on his way back to Hampton Roads Admirals. The departure leaves Storm with just nine active forwards.
Sun 1 Feb - STORM BEAT BISON 6-3. In front of 8679 fans at the Nynex Arena on Sunday night, Manchester Storm beat Basingstoke Bison 6-3. Kris Miller opened the scoring on 14 minutes and it remained 1-0 until the second period. Hopes of another Hrivnak shutout were high as Storm scored three more times in the second period from Brad Rubachuk, Jeff Jablonski and Hilton Ruggles. The third period started off badly though for Storm as Conway, Shewan and then Strachan all scored for Bison to set up a tense last 10 minutes - Hrivnak is human after all! After a Storm timeout, Eric Flinton restored order with the 5th Storm goal on 51 minutes and then Craig Woodcroft scored Storm's 100th Superleague goal to wrap the game up.
Also on Sunday in the Superleague, Ayr Scottish Eagles travelled to Cardiff and in a very tight game came out 1-0 winners - the goal coming from Boe in the first period. Sheffield Steelers travelled to Newcastle Cobras and won 5-3. Frank Kovacs scored a short-handed goal in the first period to give Steelers a 1-0 lead. The second period saw Stewart equalise on the powerplay. The third period saw the game really liven up with Beaulieu and Plommer making it 3-1 to Steelers. Lambert pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining but Kovacs scored again to make it 4-2. With 5 minutes remaining LaScala scored for Cobras to make it 4-3 and Newcastle then pulled their netminder to try and get the equaliser. With 47 seconds remaining Ed Courtenay scored the empty net goal that gave the Steelers a 5-3 win. In the Express Cup, Bracknell Bees kept their Express Cup semi-final hopes alive with a 7-2 win over Nottingham Panthers. Joe Ferraccioli and Brant both got two goals for Bracknell.
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