Rink round-up

Monday, 10th October 2005

Basingstoke Bison have parted company with netminder Steve Briere and have brought in former Manchester Phoenix goaltender Jayme Platt as his replacement.  Bison Coach Mark Bernard explained the difficult decision he had to make, saying "First let me say that Steve is nothing but a first class individual and this was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. But my job is to try and make us stronger and this is the first step in attempting to do that."  Coach Bernard went on to comment on the signing of Platt, saying that "Jayme is a quality goalie that has taken two very average teams in Manchester and Sheffield and not only got them in the playoffs but advanced then to the finals weekend. Our goal here for this season has always been to make the playoffs and we as a coaching staff felt this was a great opportunity to try and help us achieve that."

Basingstoke have also parted company with British defenceman Danny Meyers, who asked to be released from his two-year contract at Basingstoke, much to the annoyance of Coach Bernard. "What disappoints me the most about this situation is the lack of professionalism from a certain team that felt it was up to them to make a statement about it in their local paper?" says Mark Bernard. "Why do teams feel it necessary to make other teams releases for them? The reason I was waiting on the release is because I did not want to make Danny feel uncomfortable in our building for his last two games, especially upstairs afterwards. I felt releasing it would put him in an awkward position with fans after just quitting."

Edinburgh Capitals will be without the services of enforcer Fredrik Oduya who has picked up a two game suspension for a headbutting incident in a match against Cardiff Devils last week.

Friday night's Elite League action saw Belfast Giants playing host to the reigning league champions Coventry Blaze.  Graham Belak opened the scoring for the visitors inside of two minutes on the powerplay, and ex-Phoenixer George Awada netted to level the scores six minutes later.  Awada followed up with a second goal towards the end of the first period to give the home team the advantage, but Ashley Tait came back just after the break to tie up the game.  Evan Cheverie put the game at a 2-3 scoreline whilst the Giants were penalty killing after Marc Levers received a game penalty for high sticks.  Matt Reid levelled the score with six minutes left in the game, and with overtime not able to separate the teams the match ended 3-3.

Sheffield Steelers have announced the return of Kent Simpson for a third stint with the club, with the forward declaring "I'm coming back to Sheffield to win."  Simpson completes the Sheffield line-up under Coach Paul Heavey, who is relieved to have completed the tast of recruiting a Steelers squad for the new campaign.  "I think we have signed another good player, first and foremost," says Coach Heavey.  I believe that Kent will fit in well with the guys we already have, his talends will dove-tail those other guys in the room.  Simmer will add good leadership, he has been a Captain on the last three or four teams he has played on.  I also think he will add a scoring and a creative touch that will add some offence to the club."

Despite being bolstered by the signing news, Sheffield Steelers had mixed fortune this past weekend. Saturday night saw the Steelers
on the road, paying a visit to the Welsh capital to take on the Cardiff Devils.  The Devils opened the scoring through Louis Goulet and followed up through ex-Steeler Gerad Adams, giving the Devils a 2-0 lead going into the first interval.  Markers from Andrew Luciuk and Mike Peron brought the scores level before Goulet netted his second of the night to restore the Cardiff lead.  Cardiff extended their lead early in the third but Martin Masa drew one back with three minutes to go.  Sheffield pulled Jody Lehman from the net to give the extra attacker, but this backfired when Kirk de Waele found the empty net to seal the game, the final score being 5-3 to the Devils.

Edinburgh's Challenge Cup campaign continued to find rocky ground with a visit from the Nottingham Panthers.  An early lead by Nottingham was cancelled out through Tony Hand and then Travis Lisabeth, giving the Capitals a home lead until Joe Cardarelli levelled the scores.  Dan Tessier put the Panthers ahead in the third only for the Capitals to draw level, prompting Tessier to restore the lead with his second, third and fourth goals saw the match end 3-6 to the Panthers.

Basingstoke hosted London on Saturday night in a game which saw Racers player-coach Dennis Maxwell heading to the showers four minutes from the end after receiving an ejection for misconduct.  Doug Sheppard and Trevor Baker had respectively put the Bison and Racers on the board in the first period, and the score remained that way until just after the halfway point, when Scott Wray put the Racers into the lead.  Edijs Brahmanis drew the scores level again two minutes later, before John Wheaton put the Bison in the driving seat.  Mark Galazzi netted the Bison's fourth just before the second interval.  Scott Wray found the net again late in the third period by Jim Shepherd put the game out of reach, the final score 5-3 to the Bison.
Basingstoke were less fortunate on Sunday night with a road trip up to the Hallam FM Arena to take on Sheffield Steelers.  Dan Ceman opened the scoring for Sheffield within six minutes, with the equaliser coming through Shawn Maltby just before the break.  Mark Dutiame restored the Sheffield lead just before the halfway point, and the score remained that way until the second break.  Mike Peron pushed the scoreline to 1-3 ten minutes from the end, and Dan Ceman posted the empty netter to seal the game at 1-4.

London's home game on Sunday saw them up against the Cardiff Devils, with the Welsh team riding high after their win over Sheffield the previous night.  A tight contest, the scoreline was kept at nil-nil until the 37th minute, when Nathan Rempel broke the deadlock for the Racers, scoring against his old team.  Mark Richardson waited until two minutes from time to draw the game level, and a last-minute marker for Gerad Adams stole the game 1-2 to the Devils.

Coventry Blaze must have thought they were sitting pretty when Evan Cheverie gave them a first period lead over Newcastle Vipers at the Skydome on Sunday, and a scoreless second period must have also pointed towards a Coventry win, but a concerted effort from the Vipers in the third period saw them draw level through Michael Tasker before Matus Petricko and Andre Payette put biscuits in the basket to seal the game 1-3 in favour of the Newcastle side.

Nottingham Panthers stayed overnight in Edinburgh after their game on Saturday in order to face the Capitals in league competition on Sunday.  Dan Tessier found the net first, and Curt Bowen extended the lead early in the second period.  Miroslav Droppa pulled one back for the Caps, but Brad Patterson put the Panthers back in a two-goal-lead position.  Bowen netted twice more to give him a hat-trick on the night, with Edinburgh fighting back with goals from Martin Cingel and Grant McPherson, the game ending 3-5 to the visitors.

by Richard Allan