Ice Hockey: Cardiff lift championship

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The Independent Online
CARDIFF DEVILS became the Heineken Premier Division champions for the second time when Murrayfield Racers lost 12-3 at Nottingham Panthers.

Murrayfield's faint hopes of the title evaporated in Saturday's defeat, but the following day Cardiff - the title-winners in 1990 - spurned the chance to mark their success with a champions' display away to the bottom club Peterborough Pirates. Cardiff lost 9-4 after being 4-0 down with 16 minutes gone and 8-2 behind after 45.

Nottingham's second game of the weekend, against Humberside Seahawks, saw their goalminder Ian Young record the 50th shut-out in the league's history. Young faced 31 shots on goal without letting one puck past. The increasing understanding between Paul Adey and Jaroslav Sevick was responsible for five of Nottingham's eight goals.

Murrayfield and Cardiff are both assured of a place in the Heineken Championship play- offs, but in theory any six of the remaining eight clubs could join them. The least likely to are Durham Wasps, whose two defeats over the weekend extended their losing run to five games, an unwanted league record.

The first defeat was against Billingham Bombers 5-3 - Billingham's first home-ice victory against Durham - and the scoreline was repeated in the derby against Whitley Warriors.

Bracknell Bees beat Fife Flyers 2-0 on the opening weekend of the season. This time the goals were shared. Frank Morris put Fife ahead, with the former Flyer, John Haig, replying late in the third period for a 1-1 draw, which set a low- scoring league record.