Ice Hockey: Devils ride in to do the double at Easter

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The Independent Online
THE British Championship play-offs between the Premier Division's top eight teams, with the top four playing at Wembley at the end of the month, saw the league champions, Cardiff Devils, win their Easter games while Whitley Warriors' campaign started with two defeats, writes Steve Pinder.

Devils' first win was against a lacklustre Durham Wasps, who seemed content to write off their trip to the Principality after the first period, going in 4-1 down and eventually losing 8-2.

At least Warriors gave Devils a game. Martin King and Paul Matthews both performed heroics for Warriors and there was never more than one goal in it until Whitley pulled the netminder, Kevin Dean, with seconds left and Cardiff leading 6-5.

The extra player ploy for the equaliser failed as Cardiff scored an empty-net goal for the 7-5 win. Warriors' other defeat was equally close, 4-2 to Nottingham Panthers with the lead going Panthers' way in only the last minute of the second period.

Humberside Hawks played Murrayfield Racers and Fife Flyers. They looked confident against Racers, who consistently pulled back before Mike Bishop gave Hawks the edge three minutes into the final period, followed by a Dan Dorion breakaway goal two minutes later for an 8-6 win. Fife avenged their rivals despite having just lost 8-3 to Sheffield Steelers, beating Hawks 13-3.

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