Rink round-up

Monday, 9th January 2006
The seasonal break has been and gone, 2006 has arrived, and Rink Round Up wishes a Happy New Year to all four of our readers! (Yes, we've added one!)
This edition starts before the festivities, with a pre-Christmas visit to the Odyssey Arena for Sheffield Steelers when they took on Belfast Giants on Thursday 22nd December.  Belfast got off to a flying start with three first-period goals, Theo Fleury opening the scoring and Colin Shields adding a brace before the first interval, with Warren Tait drawing one back to set the score at 3-1 heading into the break.  A scoreless second period nearly gave way to a scoreless third, with George Awada capitalising on an empty Sheffield net in the final minute of the game to take the score to 4-1 at the close.
Edinburgh's holiday season got off to a shaky start with a trip to Coventry on Thursday 22nd December, with the Blaze running up an impressive 7-3 scoreline despite Edinburgh taking the lead through Dino Bauba.  Ex-Manchester Storm forward Barrie Moore drew the scores even on the powerplay before the first interval. Second period markers from Pavol Mihalik and Evan Cheverie put Coventry ahead 3-1 before Martin Cingel added to the Caps' tally.  Barrie Moore posted his second to restore the Blaze's two goal lead only for Cingel to bring the game back to within one goal a minute later.  Moore tallied his hat-trick just before the end of the period, setting the scoreline at 5-3 going into the third period.  Dan Welch added to Coventry's total in the first three minutes, and Moore's fourth goal of the night set the final score at 7-3.
The Caps fared little better the following night in Nottingham, when the Panthers hosted Edinburgh in their Christmas fixture.  Dion Darling and Joe Cardarelli put the home team two goals to the good in the first period,  and Dan Ceman extended the lead just after the restart.  Shaun Sutter made it 4-0 at the halfway point, before Frederick Oduya and Dino Bauba clawed two goals back for the Caps.  David Clarke put the Panthers' fifth away just before the second interval, and Nottingham sat back during a scoreless third period to fend off the Caps, who saw Mike Kiesman pick up a game penalty for abuse of an official at the end of the game.
Friday 23rd December also saw Sheffield at home to Cardiff in a tight game that went all the way to overtime.  A scoreless first period gave way to the second, during which Kent Simpson put the Steelers ahead, the equaliser coming from Vezio Sacratini six minutes from the end of regulation.  No goals in the overtime session meant shared points for the two teams.
Sheffield's traditional Boxing day match this year saw them go down 2-4 at home to Nottingham.  Blaz Emersic opened the scoring for the Panthers early in the first period, with Paul Sample drawing the scores level three minutes later.  The Nottingham lead was restored through Shaun Sutter before the break, and extended in the second period through Joe Cardarelli.  Martin Masa drew one back for the home side three minutes later but Brad Patterson settled the score at 2-4 before the second interval.  A scoreless third period saw Nottingham take all the points.
Cardiff's Brad Voth and Basingstoke's Jim Shepherd were both keen to work off their Christmas dinner when the teams met on Boxing Day, with both players ejected after fifteen minutes.  Vezio Sacratini opened the scoring for Cardiff at the end of the first period, and added a powerplay marker early in the second.  Ed Patterson scored Cardiff's third twenty seconds later.  Jerry Galway got one back for Basingstoke but a short-hander from Louis Goulet made it 4-1.  Jeff Burgoyne made it 5-1 and a consolation marker from Greg Chambers saw Cardiff take the points, the final score 5-2.  Devils Coach Ed Patterson was pleased with the result, saying "This win was just whar we needed.  We needed to break the run and now we can say we are unbeaten in two matches, and we've only lost one in four.  That sounds much healthier."
Edinburgh Capitals hosted Newcastle Vipers on Boxing Day, with Corey Morgan opening the scoring for the visiting team on the powerplay.  Michael Tasker and Morgan's second made it 0-3, with Neil Hay making it 1-3.  Paul Ferone and Tony Hand traded goals in the third period, the match ending 2-4.
Tuesday 27th December saw Basingstoke Bison pulling off a surprise thrashing of Sheffield Steelers.  John Wheaton set the tone by scoring for the Bison inside of two minutes, and Greg Chambers extended the Bison lead on the powerplay in the ninth minute.  Martin Masa put the Steelers on the scoreboard just before the interval, but this proved to be their only goal of the game.  Shawn Maltby restored the two goal lead going into the break, and the second period saw a hat-trick from Jim Shepherd, the period ending 6-1.  Mark Galazzi rounded off the scoring for the Bison, the game ending 7-1, but not before Brad Cruickshank and Dennis Maxwell both picked up game penalties for roughing.
Nottingham versus Cardiff on the 27th was a tense end to end affair, with a tied scoreline after overtime seeing the team split the points.  A Vezio Sacratini marker gave Cardiff the lead towards the end of the first period, and it took until the end of the third for Curtis Bowen to draw the scores level and take the game to OT.  Regan Darby got mis marching orders with a game penalty in the 48th minute.
The 27th of December also saw the first of the British Knockout Cup fixtures, with Coventry Blaze at home to Hull Stingrays.  An eight goal opening peiod saw Coventry seal the game before the first interval, with markers from Joel Poirier, Jeff Hutchins (2), Graham Belak (2), Barrie Moore, Ashley Tait and Neal Martin.  Dan Shea took over from Martin Klempa in the Coventry net from the start of the second period, with the match already being settled.  Adam Calder netted the period's only goal, taking the scoreline to 9-0.  Russell Cowley, Adam Calder and Evan Cheverie rounded off the scoring in the third, the match ending with an emphaic 12-0 win to Coventry.
Coventry's elation at their win was short-lived, with a trip to Belfast on Wedneday 28th seeing them come off on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline.  Steve O'Brien scored against his former club to open the Giants' scoring in the second minute, and coach Ed Courtenay led by example with two goals in the second period.  Coventry got off the mark through Tom Watkins in the second period but it wasn't enough, Shawn Skiehar putting away the final goal of the night to give Belfast the 4-1 win.
Newcastle Vipers played host to Edinburgh Capitals on the 28th, with Matus Petricko setting the Vipers on the path to victory with an even strength goal in the seventh minute and a shorthander in the twenty seventh.  Neil McCann brought the scoreline back to 2-1 only for David Longstaff to find the net twice to make it 4-1, with Paul Ferone putting the icing on the cake eight minutes from time, the game ending 5-1.
Belfast ended their 2005 campaign with a trouncing of Basingstoke Bison, with the Giants taking the game 7-1 on Friday 30th December.  Ex-Manchester Phoenix captain George Awada opened the scoring on the powerplay in the third minute, and in the second Ed Courtenay and Rob Stewart put the game at 3-0 going into the third.  Awada's second saw the score extended to 4-0, and Curtis Huppe made it 5-0.  Theo Fleury made it 6-0 before Mark Galazzi netted for the Bison to break the duck.  Another Fleury goal saw the scoreline end at 7-1, before Fleury was ejected on a high sticking penalty.
New Year's Eve saw Nottingham at home to Newcastle Vipers, and a scoreless first period gave way to the second, where Pavel Gomenyuk found the net for Newcastle.  The third remained scoreless until two seconds from time, with Paul Ferone putting the biscuit in the basket for a 0-2 win, Trevor Koenig registering a 35 shot shut-out.
Sheffield Steelers hosted Coventry Blaze at the end of 2005, with Andreas Moborg netting to give Blaze the lead in the fifth minute.  Dennis Maxwell drew the scores level at the start of the second, only for Adam Calder to restore the lead going into the third.  A penalty shot was missed by Kent Simpson in the third before Dan Welch put the Blaze up 1-3.  Maxwell's second brought the sides closer but it wasn't enough, the game ending 2-3 to the visiting Blaze.
Coventry rang in the new year with a return match against Sheffield, with the Steelers travelling to the Skydome to pit netminder Jody Lehman against his former side.  Dan Welch opened the scoring for the Blaze in the first period, and despite piling on the pressure the Steelers couldn't find their way past Martin Klempa, who stood tall in the Coventry net to shut the Steelers out.  Evan Cheverie posting an empty netter when Lehman was pulled for the extra skater, the scoreline closing at 0-2.
January 2nd saw Edinburgh Capitals hosting Belfast Giants in the British Knockout Cup, and it was the Caps who got onto the scoreboard first, through Tony Hand.  Marc Levers, Curtis Huppe and Colin Shields rallied to put Belfast 1-3 up at the first interval, and George Awada made it 1-4 in the second before Levers added two more to get his hat-trick. Martin Cingel pulled on back for the Caps, bringing the scores to 2-6, before Curtis Huppe made it 2-7.  A late Neil Hay marker brought the scores to a slightly more respectable 3-7, but it was Belfast who claimed the win.
Nottingham Panthers hosted Basingstoke Bison on January 2nd, and it was a case of The Joe Cardarelli Show with the ex-Stormer finding the net four times for the Panthers.  Cardarelli opened the scoring in the fourth minute, with Dan Ceman netting a powerplay marker two minutes later.  Cardarelli's second made it 3-0 before Jim Shepherd and Greg Chambers brought the Bison back within reach, the score 3-2 at the first interval.  Dion Darling scored for Nottingham early in the second before Cardarelli netted his third to take the score to 5-2 at the second interval, and Cardarelli's fourth put the game at 6-2 early in the third, prompting Basingstoke to change netminder.  Greg Chambers pulled one back for Basingstoke, but time ran out on the Bison, Nottingham taking the game 6-3.
Sheffield Steelers have confirmed the signing of ex-Manchester Phoenix forward Jason Hewitt, taking him from Basingstoke Bison.  Hewitt joins fellow ex-Phoenixer Mark Thomas and former London Racers Coach Dennis Maxwell in making the move to Sheffield.
Basingstoke's woes continued this past Saturday, with a visit from Coventry Blaze.  Greg Chambers got the Bison off to a strong start, with a goal inside the first minute, only for Joel Poirier, Adam Calder and Evan Cheverie to find the net and put the game at 1-3 by the first interval.  A scoreless second period gave way to a third period in which Doug Sheppard brought the game back to within one, only for Neal Martin to find the net and Evan Cheverie to bag a hat-trick and seal the game 2-6.
Coventry have announced that Lee Richardson will be allowed to ice for Bracknell Bees of the English Premier League on a two-way contract with the Blaze.  Coventry Coach Paul Thompson sees the value of the agreement, saying "By going to Bracknell he will get more regular ice time which will benefit him and will help me out.  If I need to call Lee up he will be able to make a greater contribution having played regularly." 
Belfast Giants notched up a resounding win over league contender Newcastle Vipers with a 4-0 win at the Odyssey Arena.  Colin Shields, Leigh Jamieson and Todd Kelman gave the Giants a 3-0 lead by the first interval, and a third period goal from Theo Fleury sealed the game 4-0.
Cardiff Devils were at home to Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday, with the Caps registering an overtime win after a tight end to end game.  Tony Hand opened the scoring for the Caps with the only goal of the first period, and Vezio Sacratini drew the scores level early in the second.  Matthew Rich was quick to restore the Caps' lead, and Daniel McIntyre put the game at 1-3 in the Caps' favour before the half hour mark.  Louis Goulet and Jonathan Phillips levelled the scores and forced the game into overtime, where Dino Bauba found the net on the powerplay to take the game 3-4 to the Capitals.
Nottingham Panthers were at home to Sheffield Steelers on Saturday, with James Cooke opening the scoring for the home boys in the third minute only for Kent Simpson to equalise three minutes later.  Simpson put Sheffield in the driving seat early in the second period, and the scoreline stayed at 1-2 until the 50th minute when Dion Darling tied the game.  With three seconds of regulation time remaining, Rod Sarich found the net to give Sheffield the win, final score 2-3.
Sunday's fixtures saw Newcastle Vipers give a thumping to Sheffield Steelers, with Jan Krajicek and Paul Ferone giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period.  Paul Sample netted the only Steelers goal of the night in the second period, and going into the third period it was still 2-1.  Jonathan Weaver put the score at 3-1 just after Dennis Maxwell picked up a 5+ Game penalty for spearing.  Wevaer netted an empty netter towards the end of the game, and David Longstaff put the game well out of Sheffield's reach, 5-1 the final score.
Coventry's home fixture against Belfast Giants on Sunday saw Martin Klempa notch up a 30 shot shut-out in a game that saw Belfast pick up 90 minutes of penalties.  Barrie Moore opened the Coventry scoring with a short-hander, and Russell Cowley added a powerplay goal before the first interval.  Pavol Mihalik netted Coventry's third and final goal in the second, before the game turned nasty with Theo Fleury ejected with 32 penalty minutes before the end of the second period.  Graeme Walton, Todd Kelman and George Awada all racked up penalty minutes in double figures as Belfast reportedly seemed to lose their discipline.
Edinburgh Capitals run of form was extended on Sunday with a 5-3 win over Cardiff Devils, despite the visitors taking the lead through Nathan Rempel in the second minute.  The Caps equalised through Dino Bauba and then went ahead through Neil McCann and Martin Cingel.  Regan Darby continued his crusade up the penalty table with a 32 minute tally including an ejection before the end of the first period after receiving a minor penalty that he disagreed with.  The resultant exchange with the officials saw him pick up a ten minute misconduct and then a game penalty.  A goalless second period gave way to the third in which Mike Kiesman extended the Caps lead to 4-1, only for Jonathan Phillips and Jeff Burgoyne to bring the scoreline back to 4-3.  A second McCann goal sealed the game for the Capitals, 5-3 the final score.  Veteran Cardiff Devil Vezio Sacratini was deeply disappointed with the results against the Caps, saying "We've had two games against Edinburgh and got one point and that's not good enough.  We must all look at ourselves. Ed Patterson has put together a good bunch of guys but we have to play better as a team.  There are no excuses, we have to pull together and produce better performances."
by Richard Allan