Sat 31 Jan - In the Superleague, Ayr Scottish Eagles travelled to Basingstoke and comprehensively defeated the struggling Bison 7-0. The first period saw Ayr finish 3-0 up with goals from Young, Groleau and Hoffman. It was 6-0 at the end of the second period with Groleau and Hoffman scoring again and the other goal from Steer. Parco made it a 7-0 shutout with four minutes remaining. Meanwhile at Lower Parliament Street, Sheffield Steelers were being beaten 5-3 by Nottingham Panthers. Tim Cranston put Steelers 1-0 up after two minutes but then Premak, Adey, Laxdall and Niehuis all scored to give Nottingham a comprehensive 4-1 first period advantage. Jeff Sebastian made it 5-1 nineteen seconds into the second period and it was looking like another thrashing for the Steelers. Kovacs scored two minutes later though as Steelers tried to fight back. The score remained the same until twelve minutes from time when Jamie van der Horst pulled another back to make it 5-3 and a hectic last few minutes. Nottingham hung on and Steelers were defeated again.
Thu 29 Jan - STORM DEFEAT DEVILS 3-2. Storm's 3-2 defeat of Cardiff Devils has almost certainly given them an Express Cup semi final place and almost certainly eliminated Cardiff. In front of 5066 fans at the Nynex Arena, Troy Neumeier, Craig Woodcroft and then Kevin Hoffman gave Storm a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of the first period. Ian Cooper scored for Cardiff two minutes into the second to keep the Devils in with a shout. There was no more scoring until 58 minutes when Ian Cooper set up a tense last two minutes with a Cardiff goal. Storm held out and now have to beat Newcastle in their final Express Cup games on Thursday and hope that Bracknell lose at least one of their last three.
The following is a press release from the European Hockey League: January 21, 1998 - The European Hockey League towards the 1998/99 season. The EHL Top Four Final will be played this weekend in Austrian Feldkirch, between Russians Dynamo Moscow and Torpedo Yaroslavl, Czech Petra Vsetin and local VEU Feldkirch, to complete the second season of the European Hockey League. Although the main interest is focused on the games for the EHL Silver Stone, the guidelines for the coming season have already been worked out mid in December in Moscow, Russia, by the EHL Working Committee, chaired by EHL Vice President Kalervo Kummola, and then approved by the EHL Executive Board. The guidelines were circulated to all the EHL territories who, within the deadline of January 20, had to confirm their participation after having contacted their National Leagues and clubs. The 12 invited EHL countries have all confirmed their participation to the 1998/99 season and their acceptance of the EHL guidelines, with Switzerland and Czech Republic who will get the final confirmation on occasion of the general assembly of their National Leagues, both scheduled on January 31. IIHF President René Fasel is expecting a great success from the EHL Top Four Final, which will also represent the ideal springboard for the future season: "The final stage of the EHL will take place after 80 exciting games played all over Europe. Feldkirch is a venue with a great tradition, organising knowledge and spectators interest. These 3 combined factors will guarantee for the success of the event. Four among the best European clubs made their way to the EHL Top Four Final, and although only one will be able to put the hands on the EHL Silver Stone, I wish all the competitors the best success. As for the next EHL season, it is not a surprise to me that all the 12 invited countries have already confirmed their participation to the EHL, according to the guidelines optimally prepared by the EHL Working Committee. This means that the introductory stage of the EHL is almost over and we can look forward to the future to secure the best development of our new product. The adjustment to the existing regulations will guarantee the EHL to be even more attractive, while the IIHF, together with the commercial partner CWL, will work hard for securing a better exposure, larger centralised sponsor participation and more financial revenue opportunities for the EHL clubs". The 1998/99 season will be played once again by 24 clubs representing 12 countries, with the following participation: Austria (1 club), Czech Republic (3), Finland (3), France (1), Germany (3), Great Britain (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), Russia (3), Switzerland (2), Slovakia (1), Sweden (3). The assigned spots are 23, the 24th will be assigned at discretion of the EHL Executive Board after the confirmation of the 23 invited clubs. Invited to the EHL will be in principle the National champions and where the representation in the League is expanded to 2 or 3 clubs, the runner-up and/or other clubs appointed according to the rules of the National Associations, to be approved by the EHL Executive Board. The EHL Executive Board retains as well the right, as to the countries represented by 3 clubs, to invite one key club (a club which for tradition, organization, central location in respect to the media etc. is in condition to guarantee the best exposure to the EHL) within the National country representation, if no key club is included in the list presented by the National Association. The winner of the EHL 1997/98 season will automatically participate in the coming EHL season, even if not National champion or runner-up. In any case, the number of the participating clubs assigned to each National Association will not be increased, in case the single National Association is already represented by 2 or 3 clubs (this case applies if Dynamo Moscow, Torpedo Yaroslavl or Petra Vsetin win the EHL). Should the winner of the EHL belong to a National Association represented only by 1 club and be as well National champion, the participation will not be enlarged, with the club representing at the same time the EHL winner and the National champion. If the winner of the EHL is not National champion, than the National Association representation will be enlarged by one, with the EHL Executive Board making use of the 24th free spot (this case applies to VEU Feldkirch). Like in the 1997/98 season, the 24 clubs will be seeded by the EHL Executive Board into 6 divisions with 4 teams each, playing 3 games home ad 3 away for a total of 6 playing days. Tuesday has been confirmed as playing day. The first change with the 1997/98 season is represented by the qualified teams to the playoffs: the first 2 teams in each Division will qualify for the playoffs (in the current season the winner and the 2 best second placed clubs advanced to the second stage) for a total of 12 clubs. The clubs will be paired into six playoffs legs (one home and one away game), with the winner of each leg that will advance to the Semifinal Round. The six qualified club will be seeded into two tournaments of 3 clubs each, to be played on a weekend in two different sites. The winners of the two tournaments will reach the EHL Final, that will be played in two games, one home and one away. The 1998/99 EHL season will start on September 15, 1998. The Division Round will be completed on December 8. The Playoff Round will be played on January 5 and 12, 1999, the Semifinal Round in the weekend of 22-24 January, the EHL Final on February 9 and 16. In total, 92 games will be played, 8 more than in the current season. As for the playing rules, the 3 points system will be maintained in the Division Round, while the center ice red line icing will be reconfirmed only if the new IIHF off-side rule will not be introduced. In order to guarantee the best possible exposure to the EHL, the commercial partner, CWL Telesport will secure TV highlights and news excerpts for each playing day. The Division rounds seeding and game schedule for the 1998/99 season will be released on occasion of the IIHF World Championship Pool A in Switzerland from May 1 to 17, 1998, when the EHL General Board will meet. The Marketing Manager of Skoda, Frank Farsky, will attend the EHL Top Four Final in Feldkirch, and in this occasion he will meet with the EHL management and with the representatives of the commercial partner, CWL Marketing, to develop further strategies for the coming seasons. (VEC Feldkirch won the EHL by the way - and as yet haven't won their national championship.)
Wed 28 Jan - In the Express Cup, Ayr Scottish Eagles defeated Bracknell Bees 7-1 at the Centrum Arena. Ayr had a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period and then scored twice more in each period to dent Bracknell's semi-final hopes. At Newcastle Arena, Newcastle Cobras had a rare win with a 6-2 victory over Basingstoke Bison. It was 4-0 at the end of the first period with goals from Mitchell, Duberman, Mulvenna and Rautiainen. Black made it 4-1 in the second period but Johnson quickly scored for Newcastle to make it 5-1. Scott pulled another back for Basingstoke just before the half hour. Weaver wrapped up the scoring on 47 minutes with the sixth Newcastle goal.
Tue 27 Jan - STORM SELECT BEAT ACES ALLSTARS 9-7. In the annual end of season challenge game, The Manchester Storm Select beat Altrincham Aces Allstars 9-7. The Storm scorers were Woodcroft (2), Allen, Hobson (2), Broomfield, Rubachuk (2) and Owen. For Altrincham, the goals came from Jablonski, Mikkola, Jago, Stokes, Morin (2) and Slater.
The European Hockey League concluded its Finals with victory for Austrian team VEU Feldkirch. Moscow Dynamo defeated Torpedo Yaroslav 1-0 in the all-Russian first semi-final and then VEU Feldkrich beat Petra Vsetin of the Czech Republic 3-2 in the other semi-final. The third placed play off saw Petra Vsetin beat Torpedo Yaroslav 3-1. The European Hockey League Final saw VEU Feldkirch beat Moscow Dynamo 5-3.
Sun 25 Jan - STORM BREAK RECORD AS STEELERS BEATEN 4-0. Manchester Storm have set a new Superleague record thanks to Jim Hrivnak's third consecutive shutout. Storm last conceded a goal more than 190 minutes ago - in the 2-2 Express Cup game at Cardiff Devils earlier in the month. Jim Hrivnak's three consecutive shutouts are also a personal first for him. Defeated today were big rivals Sheffield Steelers who travelled to Manchester in poor form with Hibbert in the net. The crowd of over 12,300 saw Craig Woodcroft open the scoring after 13 minutes. The second period saw the first ever penalty shot ever scored by Storm. Stefan Ketola beat Hibbert to double Storm's lead. Hilton Ruggles soon made it 3-0 just before the half hour and Steelers already looked defeated. Kris Miller made it 4-0 with eight minutes remaining.
Also on Sunday in the Superleague, Ayr Scottish Eagles comprehensively defeated Nottingham Panthers 8-1. It was 4-0 to Ayr in the first 15 minutes - Hoad and Biette scored twice for Eagles as they look set to finish top of the Superleague table. Cardiff Devils defeated Basingstoke Bison 4-3 after overtime in Cardiff. Vezio Sacratini equalised for the Devils to take the game into overtime and then with 110 seconds of overtime remaining Peter Ekroth scored the winner. Bracknell Bees also came from behind to beat bottom placed Newcastle Cobras 4-3. After two periods, Newcastle were 3-2 up in Bracknell before Pellerin and Ward scored the winning goals.
Sat 24 Jan - In the Superleague, Nottingham Panthers defeated Cardiff Devils 3-1 at Lower Parliament Street. McCarthy put Cardiff into the lead near the end of the second period but Nottingham came back in the third. Goals from Morgan, Leach and Laxdall secured a vital win for the Panthers as they moved into second place in the table. In the clash of the bottom teams, Newcastle Cobras beat Basingstoke Bison 4-2 away and gave them hope of finishing off the bottom of the Superleague. In the Express Cup, Sheffield Steelers clinched a place in the semi-finals with a last-gasp 3-2 overtime win against Ayr Scottish Eagles who had already won their place in the latter stages before they came into this game. With just 30 seconds of overtime remaining, the scored tied at 2-2 with Piero Greco off the ice, Steelers rushed forward and Tim Cranston scored the dramatic winner. The game was earlier marred by a 12-player on-ice brawl.
Thu 22 Jan - STORM SHUTOUT BEES 5-0. Storm returned to Superleague action at the Nynex Arna on Thursday night with a 5-0 shutout win over Bracknell Bees. Jon Hammond wasn't there so we had to suffer someone or other who was as enthusiatic about the game as.... someone who wasn't very enthusiastic. Brad Rubachuk opened the scoring after 5 minutes and then Craig Woodcroft scored the second after 8 minutes. It stayed that way for a long period of time with not a great deal else happening. Dominic Maltais made it 3-0 on 44 minutes as Burge got a 5+game for slashing. Three minutes later it was 4-0 from Kris Miller on the powerplay and Dale Jago rounded it off on 50 minutes also on the powerplay. Kevin Hoffman won Man of the Match, but it was picked by some Stormforce member at random who could have been reading the paper all the way through the match for all we know. Jim Hrivnak should have got it.
Also on Thursday in the Express Cup, Sheffield Steelers travelled to Cardiff and won 6-3. Steve Thornton scored the first and third Cardiff goals and Matulik got the second. This result for Steelers means that they look set for an Express cup semi-final place. The game between Cardiff and Storm in Manchester next week could end the Express Cup for Storm or Cardiff.
Wed 21 Jan - In the Superleague, Sheffield Steelers faced Bracknell Bees and won 4-2. The first period was goalless and Ed Courtenay scored the first goal for Steelers on the powerplay after 21 minutes. It was 2-0 three minutes later, when also on the powerplay, Courtenay scored again. Bracknell pulled a goal back after 26 minutes when Gomes scored on the powerplay. After 37 minutes with Steelers shorthanded, Ed Courtenay scored a hat-trick with the third Steelers goal. Burke pulled a goal back again in the third period with five minutes remaining. With Mark Bernard pulled, Ed Courtenay scored AGAIN, this time in the empty net and Steelers won 4-2. In the Express Cup, Ayr Scottish Eagles beat struggling Basingstoke Bison 4-0. Ayr were already in the semi-finals of the Express Cup and Basingstoke almost certainly out of it, so this was not the most important of games! Shawn Byram opened the scoring after 3 minutes. After 25 minutes, Steer scored on the powerplay to make it 2-0. Steer scored again after 43 minutes and then Bauba scored the fourth after 45 minutes.
There will be a new Superleague team in a couple of seasons set to play in an arena in London's Docklands. The new team will be officially launched next Wednesday at a press conference at the American Embassy in London. The club is set to act as a farm team for the Los Angeles Kings NHL side and a number of lower farm teams are expected to be set up to help encourage British players to move up to Superleague level and ultimately to within reach of NHL standard.
Newcastle Cobras are said to be sending an official plea to the Superleague to stop Andy Carson refereeing their games. Coach Dale Lambert discussed the issue with ISL bosses at the monthly meeting on Monday - but 24 hours later Cobras faced Storm with Carson again in charge. He gave out 78 minutesto Newcastle and just 12 to Storm (who won 2-0). Now Lambert has vowed to pursue his bid to prevent the same referee taking charge of their matches after another controversial display. "The guy obviously has a problem with Newcastle and I think it is only fair he does not referee our games for a while." said Dale. "We played shorthanded for virtually all the game for absolutely no reason. We were being given mystery penalties. This referee does this to us every time. An independent observer at that game must be wondering what the hell was going on."
Tue 20 Jan - COBRAS DEFEATED IN DULL GAME. In front of 4711 fans at the Nynex arena, Storm were poor - but not quite as poor as Newcastle Cobras. Stefan Ketola scored the first goal after just 4 minutes (while I was listening to the radio commentary on GMR still driving to to the game!). Rob Trumbley caused trouble after 11 minutes and got a 2 minute penalty for cross-checking. The rest of the game was goalless until the closing stages of the game. Apparantly I had missed a dull first period. What I then saw was a VERY dull second period and a not much better third. Jeff Jablonski got the second Storm goal to end Newcastle's hopes of overtime.
Sun 18 Jan - In the Superleague, Ayr Scottish Eagles defeated nearest challengers Cardiff Devils 4-2. The Cardiff goals were scored by Matulik and McEwan. Bracknell Bees hosted struggling Sheffield Steelers and Junkin opened the scoring after 3 minutes. There were no more goals until Pellerin made it 2-0 on 35 minutes. Ed Courtenay made it 2-1 two minutes later and then two more minutes later it was 3-1 with a goal for Bracknell from Ward. Eight minutes into the third period, Ed Courtenay made it 3-2 and Nicky Chinn equalised dramatically in the final minute on the powerplay. The game went to overtime when with just thirty seconds left Stewart scored the winner for Bracknell to win the game 4-3. Nottingham Panthers faced Basingstoke Bison at Lower Parliament Street and Bison took the Panthers to overtime, but eventually lost 4-3.
Sat 17 Jan - In the Superleague, Cardiff Devils moved threateningly into second place after defeating bottom club Newcastle Cobras 6-1 at Newcastle Arena. Steve Moria scored twice for the Superleague champions. Basingstoke Bison hosted Bracknell Bees in the southern derby and the Bison defeated the Bees 6-3. Pellerin scored for Bees after 4 minutes and Black equalised seven minutes later. It was 2-1 to Basingstoke with a goal from Gatto just before the end of the first period. Gatto scored again after 26 minutes to make it 3-1 and then Colin Ward pulled one back for Bracknell on 35 minutes. A minute later it was 4-2 from Shewan. In the third period, Gatto and Priest made it 6-2 to Bison before Brant made it 6-3 with five minutes remaining. In the Express Cup, leaders Ayr Scottish Eagles defeated Nottingham Panthers 2-0 with goals from Woolf and Parco both in the first period.
There will be a phone-in about Manchester Storm featuring Kurt Kleinendorst and some of the players. The programme will take place on Friday 30 January sometime between 7.00 and 10.00pm on Jack Dearden's Sport programme on GMR 95.1FM.
Thu 15 Jan - STORM DRAW 2-2 AT CARDIFF. Storm travelled to Cardiff to face the Devils in the Express Cup on Thursday night. Thornton opened the scoring for Cardiff win one minute of the first period remaining. Stefan Ketola equalised for Storm at the start of the second period and then with 12 minutes left of the game, Hilton Ruggles put Storm 2-1 ahead. Moria equalised for Cardiff with just 30 seconds of the game remaining. There were no further goals in overtime and so Storm got another point in the Express Cup.
Also on Thursday in the Express Cup, Sheffield Steelers travelled to Basingstoke and beat the Bison 5-2.
Storm (Select) will face Altrincham Aces (Allstars) at Devonshire Road, Altrincham in the annual challenge fixture. The game is usually scheduled for after the end of the season - but this year is two days before a vital Express Cup tie against Cardiff. The game faces off at 7.30.
Wed 14 Jan - Ayr Scottish Eagles travelled to Newcastle to face the bottom-placed Cobras in the Superleague. The league leaders won 8-5 to extend their lead at the top to 5 points over second-placed Storm.
The latest injury news from the Nynex Arena is that Kris Miller has a groin injury from the game against Ayr Scottish Eagles when he was stretchered off during the game. He should be back for the Newcastle game next week. Mike Morin has returned from his injury sustained in the game at Ayr a couple of weeks ago. He is being slowly brought back into the team with a few shifts played on Sunday against Ayr and then more against Nottingham on Tuesday. Mikael Wiklander will be out for a while subject to tests done this week. It is looking like he has a hernia. Jeff Tomlinson still has an injured finger causing him trouble.
Tue 13 Jan - STORM LOSE 4-3 IN NOTTINGHAM. Storm travelled to Nottingham for an Express Cup game. Rick Brebant scored the opening goal for Storm on 3 minutes and then Hadden equalised for Nottingham after 12 minutes. The next goal came after 27 minutes when Craig Woodcroft put Storm back into the lead. Mike Morin made it 3-1 shortly afterwards and then Premak made it 3-2 with a goal for Nottingham after 32 minutes. Hadden levelled the scores with two minutes remaining of the second period. Weber then scored for Nottingham with two minutes gone of the third period and Storm went down to another Express Cup defeat.
It has been reported in the Daily Telegraph that the IIHF has decided that only league or play-off winners will be able to enter the European Hockey League from next season. Storm will therefore not be offered a wildcard place as they have been for the last two seasons.
Sun 11 Jan - STORM BEAT LEADERS AYR 5-3. Storm returned to Superleague action with a game that they had to win to keep their championship hopes alive. In the first period Storm were poor. Shawn Byram scored on the powerplay for Ayr after three minutes and then the Superleague leaders continued to dominate Storm until Stefan Ketola equalised with five minutes of the first period remaining. With penalty minutes still counting down after a bout of roughing and misconduct from both sides, the Storm powerplay resulted in a goal for Brad Rubachuk with two minutes of the second period gone. Ayr scored an equaliser four minutes later, but it was Storm that were starting to dominate. Kevin Hoffman scored on 38 minutes, Troy Neumeier on 41 minutes and then Brad Rubachuk made it 5-2 two minutes later. Ayr pulled back a goal with five minutes remaining to set up a tense finish but Storm held on for a much needed 5-3 win.
Also on Sunday in the other Superleague game, Cardiff Devils defeated Nottingham Panthers 5-3. Cardiff went into a 4-0 lead by the end of the first period with goals from Moria, Matulik, Sacratini and Thornton. Jeff Sebastian, Knox and Leach pulled the score back to 4-3 but Matulik scored an empty net goal to give Cardiff the victory. In the Express Cup, Newcastle Cobras drew 4-4 with Basingstoke Bison after overtime. Mulvenna scored the first goal for Newcastle after 5 minutes and then Smith made it 2-0 on 10 minutes. pellerin scored on the powerplay after 15 minutes but La Scala made it 3-1 with 17 seconds of the first period remaining. The only goal in the second period came in the final minute when Kelman scored for Bracknell to bring the score to 3-2. Ward equalised on 47 minutes and then McCosh put Bracknell in front 4-3 a minute later. Majic scored the goal that took the game to overtime with eight minutes remaining. Overtime remained goalless and so both teams got a point. In Sheffield, the Express Cup game between Sheffield Steelers and Basingstoke finished 6-3 to the home team. Scott Allison made it 1-0 after 8 minutes. Frank Kovacs scored on 23 minutes to make it 2-0 to Sheffield and then Longstaff made it 3-0 two minutes later. Tony Hand scored on 34 minutes to make the score 4-0. Garden and Black make it 4-2 with two goals near the end of the second period. The third period saw Ed Courtenay score with seven minutes remaining and then Mike Ware scored to make it 6-2. Black scored the final goal of the game with two minutes remaining to make the final score 6-3.
Sat 10 Jan - STORM BEATEN IN OVERTIME BY BISON. Storm travelled to Basingstoke in the Express Cup and completely ran the first 25 minutes scoring three unanswered goals. Dominic Maltais scored the first and third with Stefan Ketola getting the second. Basingstoke pulled one back two minutes later and then on 31 minutes it was 3-2. Four minutes into the third period Hurley equalised and the game went into overtime. Scott scored the winner for Basingstoke with 80 seconds of overtime remaining. With the point gained from the overtime defeat, Storm remain in 6th place in the Express Cup table.
Also on Saturday in the Express Cup, Nottingham Panthers defeated Newcastle Cobras 6-3 at Lower Parliament Street. In the Superleague, Ayr Scottish Eagles travelled to Bracknell and beat the Bees 5-3. The Ayr goals came from Woolf (2), Kummu, Groleau and Montanari. The Bees goals were scored by De Costy, Pellerin and Johnstone. Sheffield Steelers faced Cardiff Devils at Sheffield Arena. Cardiff raced into a 4-0 lead and eventaully won 6-2 with four goals came from Matulik and two from Thornton. Ed Coutenay and Frank Kovacs scored for Sheffield.
Wed 7 Jan - A POOR BISON DEFEATED AT THE NYNEX. In front of 5062 fans at the Nynex Arena, Manchester Storm faced Basingstoke Bison in the first of two Express Cup ties between the two teams in four days. Brad Rubachuk opened the scoring after 15 minutes and Kevin Hoffman scored two minutes before the end of the first period to give Storm a 2-0 lead. Stefan Ketola scored 96 seconds into the second period before Basingstoke pulled one back just 25 seconds later. It was 4-1 to Storm on 25.41 as Eric Flinton scored on the powerplay. The scoring was completed on 50 minutes when Jeff Jablonski scored Storm's fifth. Kevin Hoffman won Man Of The Match for Storm with netminder Gallace winning it for Bison. The 5-1 win gives Storm a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals with six games still remaining in The Express Challenge Cup.
Also on Wednesday in the Express Cup, Ayr Scottish Eagles lost their 100% record with a 3-2 home defeat by Cardiff Devils. Biette and Groleau scored for Ayr but Ian Cooper and Shannon Hope made the score 2-2. In the 46th minute, McIntyre scored the winner for Cardiff. Newcastle Cobras look set to finish bottom of the Express Cup after losing at home to Sheffield Steelers 3-2. Duberman and Weaver scored for Cobras in the second period. Ed Courtney equalised for Sheffield early in the third period and Tommy Plommer scored the winner on 50 minutes.
Sun 4 Jan - STORM DEFEATED BY PANTHERS. After their recent good Express Cup performances against Bracknell Bees and Sheffield Steelers, Storm returned to Superleague action with a tie against Nottingham Panthers at the Nynex Arena on Sunday night. Over 10,000 fans were present to see what turned out to be a disappointing Storm performance. Stefan Ketola scored the opening goal of the game after 13 minutes but Nottingham then scored four goals in eighteen minutes from Laxdall, Adey, Sebastian and Leach to take a commanding 4-1 lead. Dale Jago scored at the end of the second period and Brad Rubachuk got a goal with eight minutes remaining. Storm had the chances to equalise but with Hrivnak pulled in the final seconds, Laxdall scored the game-chinching goal for the Panthers. This 5-3 defeat means that Storm now lie in third place in the Superleague table behind leaders Nottingham and second-placed Ayr.
Also on Sunday in the Superleague, Newcastle Cobras finally got another win with a 6-5 overtime victory over Basingstoke Bison. With Cobras leading 4-2, Basingstoke came back to lead 5-4 with goals from Scott, Stefan and Conway. Majic then scored the equaliser for Newcastle to take the game into overtime. Norton scored the winner to close the gap at the bottom of the table to three points. Ayr Scottish Eagles travelled to Sheffield Arena and moved into second place in the league with a 5-4 win against the struggling Steelers. With Sheffield leading 4-3 at the end of the second period, Bauba scored for Ayr at the start of the final period and then Groleau scored the winner on 45 minutes. In the Express Cup, Cardiff Devils defeated Bracknell Bees 2-1 at The Hive. Ward had put Bracknell into an early 1-0 lead and the score remained the same going into the third period. With 42 minutes on the clock, Evans levelled the scores and then Yewchuck scored the winner for Cardiff with 10 minutes remaining.
Sat 3 Jan - At Blackburn Arena, two ex-Storm netminders faced each other for the first time. Colin Downie was Storm's number one in the first season, while John Finnie returned to Great Britain just a couple of weeks ago to play for Murrayfield Royals. In the Upper Deck Christmas Cup North, Lancashire and Murrayfield faced each other in front of a sizeable amount of Manchester Storm fans who had come to see their heroes of seasons past. Colin Downie was the first to be beaten as Steven Flockhart opened the scoring for Murrayfield after just one minute. Both keepers made good saves during the opening period but Hawks import Jeff Daniels scored a straight hat-trick as the period ended 3-3. With five minutes remaining of the game, Finnie was beaten for the sixth time as Lancashire equalised the scores at 6-6. A tannoy announcement was then made explaining that there would be 5 minutes of sudden death overtime if the scores remained level. This was followed by a correction that there would in fact NOT be any overtime and the game would remain a draw after 60 minutes. At the end of the game with the players shaking hands and the crowd starting to leave, it was announced that there would indeed be overtime after all! With 59 seconds of the extra period remaining, it was Colin Downie who conceded the all-important goal. In the Superleague, Cardiff Devils defeated Sheffield Steelers 4-3 in Cardiff. In the other Superleague game, Ayr Scottish Eagles beat Basingstoke Bison 7-2. Ayr scored two goals in the first three minutes from Woolf and Steer. Parco made it 3-0 on 24 minutes before Bison pulled one back from Gateaux. Scott Young scored the fourth Ayr goal a minute later and Shawn Byram made it 5-1 on 30 minutes. Montanari and Groleau scored to make it 7-1 and then Basingstoke pulled another goal back from Scott with six minutes remaining to make the final score 7-2. In the Express Cup, Bracknell Bees travelled to Nottingham Panthers and won 4-1. Gomes opened the scoring for Bees after nine minutes of the first period. Whistle made it 2-0 on 23 minutes and then Jamie Leach finally got Panthers on the scoresheet with a goal just before the end of the second period. Ward and Brant scored in the final period to give Bracknell a great win.
Thu 1 Jan - In the 7th/8th Place Play-Off World Junior Championship Pool C match against Romania, Great Britain finally got a win 7-5 to finish in 7th place in the tournament.
[Back to Latest News Index]
These pages are maintained by Simon Sandiford-Mitchell and hosted by U-Net.