Ice Hockey: German boost for British teams

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The Independent Online

The German League confirmed yesterday that it will defend the Ahearne Trophy next season after winning the inaugural event against Britain's Ice Hockey Superleague.

The ISL was far from disgraced against one of the finest leagues in Europe and at one point were on course to lift the trophy themselves. Going into the final day the ISL was four points adrift, but London Knights and Manchester were leading Schwenningen Wild Wings and Eisbaren Berlin respectively in the two early face-offs before being held to draws.

It left the Bracknell Bees needing to beat Düsseldorf to give the ISL any chance of claiming a dramatic final-day victory, but they lost 4-3. Ayr Scottish Eagles' 5-3 win against Frankfurt was academic as the DEL ran out winners by 16 points to 12.

The ISL media manager, Alyson Pollard, said: "The tournament was a huge success for everyone involved.

"We were treated to classy, free-flowing hockey of the standard we don't get to see every week, and with an awesome atmosphere at most games our own fans and the very noisy DEL supporters will not have been disappointed.

"With the Superleague teams more than holding their own, it just goes to show the gulf between our two leagues isn't as wide as everyone imagined. We're thrilled we'll be seeing more of the same next season."

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