Rink round up

Monday, 24th January 2005
Sunday's cross-league action saw the London Racers playing host to the Dundee Stars in a fiery game which saw a high goal count and an equally high penalty count.  The visitors opened the scoring in the first period with Cory Morgan finding the net; Morgan then went on to be ejected from the game at the end of the first period for misconduct, along with Scott Barnes, Eric Cairns and Richard Hargreaves.  Dundee extended their lead in the second period through Patric Lochi. Towards the end of the period Dennis Maxwell put one on the board for the home team, only for Cristiano Borgatello to put the Stars up 3-1 two minutes later.  Paul Berrington made it 4-1 in the third, and Lochi netted to take the score to 5-1.  London piled on the pressure and netted twice through Steve Moria and Mark Gouett to take the game to 5-3, and a late marker from Joe Ciccarello brought the Racers to within one goal of a tie, only for Jeff Marshall to put up the empty net marker and take the game 6-4 to the Dundee Stars.
Newcastle Vipers were visited by the Belfast Giants in the cross-league National Cup on Sunday, with the visitors notching up a resounding win despite the hosts taking an early lead, with ex-Manchester Storm player Rob Trumbley finding the net after only thirty seconds.  The lead was short-lived, with the Giants drawing level and then taking the lead with two goals from Marc Levers and one from ex-Phoenix captain George Awada to put the score at 3-1 at the end of the first period.  Curtis Huppe made it 4-1 in the second period, and then in the third George Awada and Curt Bowen put the Giants at 6-1 up to take the points.

Sheffield Steelers saw cross-league action on Sunday with a match against Hull Stingrays, and the home team took the lead through a Paul Sample unassisted goal.  Hull drew level through Jeff Glowa on the powerplay, and the scoreline stayed that way until the third period when Dion Darling and Jeff Christian found the net to take the game 3-1.

In Elite League competition, Cardiff Devils took on the Nottingham Panthers, with the visitors taking the lead through Jan Krulis and furthering their lead through Konstantin Kalmikov.  The Devils rallied round and got on the scoreboard through Jason Becker, then tied the game through John Cullen.  Regulation time finished with the teams tied at two apiece, and the overtime session saw Nathan Rempel find the net and claim the win for the Devils, final score 3-2.

Coventry Blaze hosted the bottom-placed Basingstoke Bison on Sunday, with ex-Stormer Shawn Maltby finding the net shorthanded to give the visitors a surprise lead, which was extended through Duncan Dalmao.  Tom Watkins put the Blaze back in the game, only for Steve Gallace to put the Bison up 3-1.  Watkins found the net again in the second period, and a marker from Jozef Lukac tied the game.  Going into the third, Doug Schueller netted to give the home team a 4-3 lead, and the game was sealed with Andre Payette and Jozef Lukac taking the scoreline to 6-3 to the Blaze.

Saturday night's matchplay saw the Hull Stingrays hosting Belfast Giants in the National Cup, with George Awada putting the Giants on the board late in the first.  Further goals from Todd Kelman and Curt Bowen put the visitors up 3-0, and a late marker from Evgeny Alipov saw the end of the scoring, with Belfast taking the game 3-1.

Basingstoke Bison gave the Edinburgh Capitals a lesson in scoring during their Saturday night clash, even though the visitors got off the mark first with a goal from Miroslav Droppa early in the first.  Shawn Maltby evened the score before the end of the first period, and then a pair from Mike Ford put the home team up 3-1 before Neil Hay drew one back for the Caps.  Jerry Galway put the Bison up 4-2 before the second interval, and then in the third Maltby notched up a hat-trick with two more goals to take it to 6-2.  Doug Sheppard put the final nail in the Caps coffin to take the game 7-2.

Nottingham Panthers played host to the Coventry Blaze, with Andre Payette finding the net for the visitors early in the game.  The equaliser came through Kim Ahlroos before Payette scored again, to give the Blaze a 2-1 lead at the first interval.  The game saw no further scoring, with the second and third periods remaining goalless and the match finishing at 2-1 in favour of the Blaze.

London Racers took a trip all the way up the M1 on Saturday to take on the Sheffield Steelers in a game that saw ex-Phoenixer Mark Thomas pick up a game penalty for checking from behind, and Eric Cairns dropping the gloves with Dion Darling.  The scoring came from Marc Lefebvre in the second period, with a Racers equaliser from Steve Moria.  Dennis Maxwell netted the winner after 53 minutes, taking the game for the Racers 2-1.

The dates for the Challenge Cup Final have been decided, with the first leg taking place at Coventry on Wednesday 16th February, and the second leg taking place at Cardiff on Thursday 24th February.

by Richard Allan

Rank Team Name Played Won Drawn Lost G GA Points Goal Difference
1 Belfast Giants 36 23
5 8
119 67 52 52
2 Coventry Blaze 36 21
5 10
124 76 52 48
3 Cardiff Devils 34 22
2 10
103 79 47 24
4 Sheffield Steelers 38 21
3 14
97 84 47 13
5 Nottingham Panthers 36 17
5 14
105 81 44 24
6 London Racers 34 12
6 16
70 85 31 -15
7 Basingstoke Bison 38 9
5 24
92 137 25 -45