Devils under fire

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The Independent Online
Nottingham Panthers yesterday urged the Superleague to take action after one of their imported players was knocked out in a physical game with the Cardiff Devils.

Panthers took the unusual step of sending a videotape of the game to the league to "prove our point." Darryl Olsen, the Panthers' Canadian defenceman, was knocked out after allegedly being hit from behind during Saturday's match, which Panthers lost 3-7 on their own rink. The Cardiff import, Marty Yeuchuck, was thrown out of the game after the flare-up in the 52nd minute.

Panthers are particularly concerned about the Olsen incident, but there are other aspects of the match they want the Superleague to take a look at. A Panthers spokesman said: "We decided not to involve the police but to allow the Superleague to deal with the matter. We have sent a tape of the game to them and hope they take the necessary action. They have the power to award penalties."

Olsen missed training yesterday, along with the forward Derek Laxdal who was also injured during the game No one was available for comment at Cardiff Devils.

Sheffield Steelers will go to Finland next month for the semi-finals of the European Cup after completing a satisfying hat-trick of quarter- final wins. The British grand slam winners followed defeats of their Pool C rivals Hielo Jaca, of Spain, and Tilburg Trappers, of the Netherlands, with a 4-1 conquest of the section runners-up, Steaua Bucharest.

In next month's semi-finals in Finland, they face the host club and Finnish champions, HPK Hameenlinna, the Norwegian champions, Storhamar Hamar, and the top side from either Belarus, Estonia or Kazakhstan.