Blaze raze play-offs: Ice hockey

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The Independent Online
Solihull Blaze have pulled out of the Premier League play-offs at the 11th hour, leaving the six-team round-robin competition in chaos. The club is believed to have suffered a player revolt, with the entire team refusing to play in protest at not being paid.

Premier League officials have been forced to scrap the original fixture list and now the remaining five teams - Swindon, Slough, Kingston, Guildford and Telford - will play each other on a home and away basis, leading to semi-finals and a final.

Keith Milhench, the Kingston Hawks coach, said: "It's been absolute mayhem. I can't stress too strongly how disgusted I am at Solihull."

Manchester Storm's Hilton Ruggles will sit out his side's next two Superleague play-off matches following a disciplinary hearing. Ruggles was involved in a brawl with Newcastle Cobras' Terho Koskela during Storm's 3-0 defeat last Wednesday. Although both players were handed penalties during the game, a video has shown Ruggles using a helmet during the affray, which means an automatic ban for excessive rough play.

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