Ice Hockey: Devils off top after rare slip at home

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CARDIFF DEVILS, the Sekonda Superleague leaders, were knocked off the top of the table on Sunday night when they surprisingly lost 3- 2 after overtime at home to struggling Newcastle Riverkings.

Manchester Storm took advantage of the Devils' shock collapse, winning 7-2 at London Knights to leapfrog their Welsh rivals by a single point.

Last season's champions, Ayr Scottish Eagles, needed overtime to win 5-4 at home to Nottingham Panthers and Bracknell Bees entertaining Sheffield Steelers, edged home 5-4.

Cardiff had the advantage of a 35-second goal from Brent Pope and moved 2-0 up midway through the game through Steve Moria. But the Riverkings, whose victory lifted them off the bottom of the table, reduced the arrears through Dale Jago in the first minute of the final period and, with 53 seconds left, Kevin Conway got the goal that sent the game into overtime, where Darren McAusland grabbed the winner.

Manchester Storm shrugged off conceding a Scott Kirton goal down after just over a minute in London. They equalised through Pierre Allard and went 4-1 up after 42 minutes through Allard again, Darren Hurley and Mike Morin. Shane Johnson pulled one back for Knights but then three goals in six minutes from Jeff Jablonski, Dave Morrison and Kelly Askew sealed it for the Storm.

Ayr picked up two important points with their win over Nottingham with John Parco getting the game winning goal in overtime. Paul Adey (2), Mark Kolesar and Graham Garden hit Nottingham 4-2 ahead after 41 minutes but Ayr who had earlier led through goals from Jeff Hoad, against his former club, and Karry Biette battled back. They scored twice in the last four minutes, through Dainius Bauba and Shawn Byram, to send it into overtime.

Bracknell, with the Slough Jets netminder Richard Gallace deputising for the injured Brian Greer, came from behind three times to overcome Sheffield, who were 4-3 up after 41 minutes with goals from Teeder Wynne (2), Tony Hand and Ed Courtenay. The Bees hit back through Dale Junkin (2) and Chris Brant and after Sal Manganaro had equalised Paxton Schulte scored the winner.