Sun 1 Mar - STORM OPEN PLAY-OFFS WITH WIN. The Superleague Play-offs got underway for Manchester Storm on Sunday night at the Nynex Arena. Struggling Basingstoke Bison faced a Storm team that were on a long unbeaten run. In front of just over 7000 fans, Jeff Jablonski scored the opening goal of the game for Storm on the powerplay after five minutes. The second was also a powerplay goal, scored on 11 minutes by Brad Rubachuk. Grant Sjerven kept Stormís net and probably expected to have little to do, but couldnít stop Patrick Scott pull one back for Basingstoke on 34 minutes. Craig Woodcroft immediately replied for Storm, but it was clear that this was not a good Storm performance. Six minutes into the third period, Blair Scott scored past Sjerven to make it 3-2. Bison tried their best to take the game to overtime as they pulled netminder Racicot. In that tense final minute, Bison held the puck as they had several shots with Storm not even having a chance to shoot at the empty Bison net. Storm were fortunate to hold out and however tight it was, the scoresheet shows that Storm began the play-offs with a 3-2 victory.
Also on Sunday in the other game in Group B, Cardiff Devils faced Express Cup finalists Bracknell Bees in Cardiff. The Bees could not shock the Welsh as they were defeated 7-2. In Group A, Ayr Scottish Eagles beat Newcastle Cobras 3-2. In this game Rob Trumbley was allegedly arrested for assault following an incident with a young fan where Trumbley is said to have swung his stick and hit the fan. In the other game, Sheffield Steelers defeated Nottingham Panthers 3-2 after overtime.
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