Rink round-up

Monday, 27th March 2006
This week's round-up of Elite League Play-Off action starts in Sheffield, where the Steelers hosted Newcastle Vipers on Wednesday.  Ex-London Racer Jeremy Cornish opened the scoring for the Vipers in the second minute, and Ex-Manchester Storm forward Jonathan Weaver made it 0-2 in the twelfth.  Shaun Johnson put the cookie in the jar to make it 0-3 before the first interval, and it took until the third period for Sheffield to get themselves on the scoreboard, first through Ron Shudra and then through Martin Masa to bring the scores back to 2-3, but time ran out on the Steelers, Newcastle taking the win and the points.
Thursday night saw Coventry Blaze hosting Cardiff Devils at the Skydome, where it took until just before the halfway point of the game before the duck was broken, Gerad Adams netting a shorthander to give Cardiff the lead.  Louis Goulet added a second goal two minutes later to give a 0-2 lead going into the third period, where a quickfire double from Evan Cheverie and Adam Calder tied the game, those goals coming just fifteen seconds apart.  But it was Cardiff who rallied to take the points, Nathan Rempel scoring the game winner four minutes from time.  Final score 2-3.
The return match came on Saturday, when Cardiff hosted Coventry at the WNIR, and it was Devils netminder Peter Aubrey who proved to be the man of the moment, posting a shut-out to keep the Blaze scoreless, whilst in front of him Gerad Adams, Nathan Rempel and Louis Goulet put the puck in the Coventry net to take the game 3-0, giving Cardiff enough points to secure a place in the Play-Off Semi Finals in Nottingham.
Edinburgh Capitals continued their struggles with a home loss to league champions Belfast Giants on Saturday night, with the visitors scoring three times in the opening period to put them on their way to the victory.  Jason Bowen opened the scoring in the eleventh minute, with Leigh Jamieson adding a solo marker less than a minute later and Theo Fleury adding a third just before the first interval.  The Caps got off the mark in the second period through Tony Hand, and with no further goals the score sat at 1-3 going into the third, where Mike Sandbeck pulled the scores back to 2-3 only for former Phoenix captain George Awada to pop one home in the dying moments to secure the win, the game ending 2-4 to the Giants.
Newcastle's Play-Off campaign continued in Basingstoke on Saturday with a visit to the Bison.  Matus Petricko put the Vipers ahead in the first period only for Doug Sheppard to equalise before the break.  Petricko posted a short hander to restore the lead in the second, again only for Basingstoke to draw level, this time through Shawn Maltby.  It took until the final two minutes of the game for the deadlock to be broken, Cory Morgan popping home the game winner for the Vipers, the game ending 2-3.
Nottingham Panthers were dealt a severe blow to their attempts to make it to the Finals weekend when they hosted Sheffield Steelers on Saturday.  Jody Lehman in the Sheffield net posted a 26 shot shut-out, whilst at the other end it was Mark Dutiame who opened the scoring, putting the puck past Geoff Woolhouse.  Mike Peron and ex-Phoenix player Mark Thomas made it 0-3 before the first interval, and in the second period Thomas and Peron netted their respective seconds of the night, making it 0-5 and inspiring Woolhouse to earn himself a game penalty for misconduct, the netminder being replaced by Curtis Cruickshank.  Kent Simpson made it 0-6 at the second interval, and Mike Peron sealed the game at 0-7 in the third.
The return match took place the following night, with Nottingham spending their Sunday evening in Sheffield.  Eager to bounce back from their drubbing the previous night, Nottingham held Sheffield to a 1-1 draw at the Hallam FM Arena, Matt Myers scoring for Nottingham and Martin Masa scoring for Sheffield.
Newcastle qualified for the Finals Weekend with their Sunday night win over the visiting Basingstoke Bison, despite the visitors getting on the scoreboard first.  Doug Sheppard's powerplay marker gave the Bison the lead in the first period, only for Cory Morgan to tie the game a minute later.  Jonathan Weaver put the Vipers ahed in the second period, before Pavel Gomenyuk made it 3-1 going into the third period, where Michael Tasker sealed the game with a short handed goal, the clock running out on a 4-1 scoreline.
Edinburgh Capitals were at home on Sunday to Coventry Blaze, who took out their frustrations on the Scottish team with a 2-5 win.  The Caps got off the mark first through Neil Stevenson-Moore, only for ex-Storm forward Barrie Moore to restore the balance.  Jeff Hutchins put Coventry in the driving seat early in the second period, and Ashley Tait built on the lead to make it 1-3 going into the second interval.  In the third period, Martin Cingel pulled one back for the Caps, but this fired up the Blaze, Ashley tait scoring his second before Tom Watkins added his own effort, Coventry running out on top of the 2-5 scoreline.
by Richard Allan