Ice Hockey: Beavers secure crown

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The Independent Online
ONE title was decided last weekend: Basingstoke Beavers are the champions of Heineken League First Division after wins over Romford Raiders and Medway Bears, writes Steve Pinder. Their domination of the division has been awesome - losing one and drawing one of their 27 games, scoring 349 goals and conceding 121.

Romford did their best to upstage the Beavers on Saturday. With the score at 13-3, they protested that a penalty should have been called after Beavers scored and that resulted in their imports, Gord Jeffrey, Rob Stewart and Dave Whistle, all being dismissed for dissent. Beavers hardly broke sweat to win 20-4.

The following days, Bears tried to be the party spoilers, tying the first period 2-2 and taking a 3-2 lead early in the second. Anthony Page, Mario Belanger and Rik Fera, who scored three goals in four minutes, soon put a stop to Bears' pretensions, and Beavers went on to a 7-4 win to seal the title.

In the Premier Division, Cardiff Devils need five more points from their last nine matches to take the title. Their winning streak of nine games is this season's record in the Premier: at the weekend they beat Fife Flyers 9-5 and Nottingham Panthers 11-7.