Ice Hockey: Devils' progress delayed

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The Independent Online
CARDIFF DEVILS' advance on the Heineken Premier Division title was delayed by Bracknell Bees despite the Welsh side having a full team for the first time since the end of October, writes Steve Pinder.

Bees took the attack to Devils, taking a 3-0 lead within 14 minutes with two from Kevin King and another from Darren Durdle. Devils clawed back to make it 3-3 six minutes into the final period only for Jason Reilly to put Bees ahead a minute later. Then with two minutes to go, Bees took a delay-of-game penalty and Hilton Ruggles gratefully accepted the powerplay goal opportunity to level the scores.

Devils made no mistake the next day at Durham Wasps, winning 7-0, earning the goalminder Jason Wood considerable admiration for the shut-out.

Given that the transfer deadline has long gone, Wasps will have to continue playing an import short unless there is a loophole in the regulations that the British Ice Hockey Association will allow them to exploit. Wasps are ninth in the League, and might not even progress to the championship play-offs.

HEINEKEN PREMIER DIVISION: (Saturday): Cardiff 4 Bracknell 4; Humberside 8 Murrayfield 8; Nottingham 9 Fife 2. (Sunday): Bracknell 6 Humberside 4; Durham 0 Cardiff 7; Murrayfield 11 Fife 7; Whitley 5 Peterborough 8. First Division: (Saturday): Basingstoke 6 Telford 4; Medway 13 Lee Valley 6; Slough 4 Romford 7; Swindon 3 Sheffield 7. (Sunday): Lee Valley 5 Milton Keynes 13; Romford 6 Medway 5; Telford 11 Swindon 6.