Rink round up

Monday, 14th February 2005

It's been a busy week in the Elite League and cross league competitions, starting with Cardiff Devils playing host to the Dundee Stars on Thursday.  Ex-Manchester Storm forward opened the scoring for the Devils late in the first period, with the Stars responding early in the second through Mark Scott.  But that was all for the Stars scoring, however the Devils were just getting into gear.  Jon Cullen and John Craighead both found the net twice to give the Devils a comfortable 5-1 win, with Evan Lindsey in the Dundee net facing 48 shots from the Welsh team.

Friday's fixtures saw the Nottingham Panthers take on the London Racers, with the home team taking an early lead through David Clarke on the powerplay.  An equaliser from Steve Moria was the only London effor tto make it past netminder Curtis Cruickshank, who put in a commendable performance in the Nottingham net.  Konstantin Kalmikov put the Panthers up 2-1 and then Paul Moran made it 3-1 in the third period.  Kalmikov found the empty net to seal the game at 4-1.

Over in Belfast, the Giants were hosting the Basingstoke Bison in Elite League competition. A convincing 6-0 win over the Bison helped put the Giants back into second place in the League, with goals coming from Diarmuid Kelly, Shane Johnson, Marc Levers, Curtis Huppe, ex-Phoenix Captain George Awada and Todd Kelman.

Saturday saw three cross-league fixtures, with the Cardiff Devils taking a long bus ride to Fife to play against the Flyers.  An early break for the home team saw Fife go into the first interval 2-1 ahead, but a second period fightback from the Devils saw the scoreline sat at 3-4 at the start of the third period.  The Devils and Flyers traded goals in the third, with an empty netter sealing the game in the favour of the visitors.  Jon Cullen found the net twice for the Devils, with Nathan Rempel, Vezio Sacratini, John Craighead and Rob Davison joining him on the scoresheet. Final score Fife 4 Cardiff 6. 

Belfast were at home for the second consecutive night, with a match against the newly crowned BNL Champion Bracknell Bees.  Despite a sterling effort by the BNLers, the home team took the fixture 4-3.

Basingstoke Bison were on home ice against the Newcastle Vipers, and it was the visitors who got on the scoreboard first through Matt Beveridge.  Jeff Ewasko equalised for the Bison, and then Mike Ford put them 2-1 up by the end of the first period.  The scoreline remained the same until the third period when ex-Storm forward Shawn Maltby put the Bison 3-1 up.  A consolation marker for ex-Stormer Jonathan Weaver saw the match finish 3-2 to the Bison.

In Elite League competition, Sheffield Steelers hosted Midlands rivals Coventry Blaze.  Sheffield's bench was strengthened by the presence of ex-Phoenix coach Paul Heavey, but the Blaze proved too much to handle, posting a 1-2 win over their hosts.

Coventry were at home on Sunday night, playing to a packed house against the Nottingham Panthers.  Andre Payette gave the Panthers an early lead only for Konstantin Kalmikov to equalise.  Chris McNamara restored the lead and the Blaze held off the Panthers for the rest of the game, marking an empty netter eight seconds from time to give the Blaze a 3-1 win.

London Racers took on BNLers Hull Stingrays in a game which saw the Racers dish out a mauling to the Humberside team.  Steve Moria opened the scoring for the Racers, his effort followed up by markers from Dennis Maxwell, Joe Ciccarello, Scott Nichol, Nichol again, ex-Phoenix forward Jason Hewitt, Maxwell again, and Eric Cairns rounding off the scoring.  Hull went home on the wrong end of an 8-0 scoreline, giving the Racers valuable points.

Bracknell Bees showed strength against Sheffield Steelers in cross-league competition, with a surprisingly strong 6-0 win for the Bees.  Jayme platt had a nightmare in the Sheffield net, conceding four before being replaced by Dave Lawrence.  Ex-Storm netminder Steve Lyle posted a 26 shot shut-out in the Bracknell net, whilst teammates Mike Ellis, Martin Masa, Lee Richardson and Ryan Aldridge finding the back of Platt's net.  After Lawrence took over, Sheffield conceded two more goals to Lukas Smital and Matus Petricho.

Edinburgh Capitals played host to the Cardiff Devils on the second night of the Welsh team's Caledonian tour.  A late marker from Jon Cullen took the points for the Devils, following goals from Vezio Sacratini and John Craighead, 2-3 the final score.

by Richard Allan
Rank Team Name Played Won Drawn Lost G GA Points Goal Difference
1 Coventry Blaze 42 26
5 11
146 84 62 62
2 Belfast Giants 41 26
6 9
136 77 59 59
3 Cardiff Devils 41 27
3 11
134 94 58 40
4 Nottingham Panthers 43 21
5 17
119 90 53 29
5 Sheffield Steelers 43 22
3 18
101 97 50 4
6 London Racers 40 14
7 19
86 100 36 -14
7 Basingstoke Bison 43 12
5 26
106 153 31 -47