Ice Hockey: Draw fails to rescue Knights' cup run

The London Knights' involvement in the Continental Cup ended late on Sunday when they drew 4-4 with their Norwegian hosts, Valerenga, in the final game of a hard-fought tournament. Jukurit Mikkeli moved into the final four instead, thanks to their 5-1 win over the French side Anglet.

The London Knights' involvement in the Continental Cup ended late on Sunday when they drew 4-4 with their Norwegian hosts, Valerenga, in the final game of a hard-fought tournament. Jukurit Mikkeli moved into the final four instead, thanks to their 5-1 win over the French side Anglet.

After the Finnish side Jukurit had beaten Anglet earlier in the day, the Knights had only pride to play for, while the Norwegians were still in with a chance of qualifying if they were to win by five clear goals.

The early signs were good for the Norwegians as they dominated the first period and raced into a 3-0 lead. For London, with only 13 players on the bench to the Norwegians' 22, it looked to be a game too far, but they mounted a comeback in the second period.

Sean Blanchard scored their first goal, cheekily rebounding the puck off the keeper's back after 25 minues, and five minutes later, Kim Ahlroos reduced the arrears further. Valerenga clawed a scrappy goal back with 30 seconds of the period left to set up a tense finish.

With time running out, Valerenga pulled their netminder to give them a 6-3 advantage on the powerplay but the Knights' solid defence gave first Vezio Sacratini, and then Paul Rushforth, the chance to score two empty-net goals in the last two minutes.

In the Superleague, Bracknell Bees stretched their home unbeaten run over Manchester Storm to 12 games with a 4-0 win at the Bee Hive. Sam Ftorek opened the Bees' scoring and Dan Ceman doubled their advantage. Darren Hurley and Todd Goodwin added final-period markers while the netminder Brian Greer registered a 17-shot shut-out.

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