Ice hockey: All-conquering Ayr ready to extend reign

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The Independent Online
ONLY the Cardiff Devils stand between Ayr Scottish Eagles and British ice hockey history at Manchester's Nynex Arena today.

The Eagles are aiming to add the Alamo Play-Off trophy to their Superleague crown, Express and Benson & Hedges Cups. All-conquering Ayr have brushed aside all before them this season, including Cardiff as they started their silverware sweep with a tight 2-1 victory in the B&H Cup.

That win served little notice of the dominance to come as Eagles comfortably clinched the league title, and then cruised through the play-offs - including two wins over Manchester Storm. Manchester had the opportunity to play in a major final in front of their own fans, but after a 5-3 defeat in Ayr they lost 7-2 at home.

Ayr will be without their long-term casualty Jeff Hoad, while Cardiff have a full squad available, with Mike MacWilliam playing with a damaged hand and Vezio Sacratini on the bench despite a recent groin injury.