Ice Hockey: Disaster for Devils: Cardiff eliminated from Europe

CARDIFF DEVILS were knocked out of the European Championship after an eventful weekend in Latvia where they finished in third place in Group D.

The omens were not good for the Devils, who arrived in the Latvian capital of Riga last Thursday to find that their hotel in a state of disrepair, with bare electrical wires and cockroaches for company.

A late-night move hardly helped their preparations and they lost 9-1 on Friday to Sokol Kiev, the Ukrainian champions, and 11-4 to Pardaugava Riga, of Latvia, the following day. On Sunday they managed a 10-3 success over Lithuania's Energija Elektrenai Vilinus, but it was Riga who advanced to the semi-finals.

The temporary closure of Peterborough Pirates' rink for refurbishment could now be permanent. The owners are planning to convert it to industrial usage, but Derek Thorpe, the Pirates' chairman, hopes to rescue the club.

They have been offered the chance to play their next 'home' game against Murrayfield Racers at Milton Keynes, ironically a club who found themselves in the same position during the close season but launched a rescue plan that has ensured their survival.

Murrayfield Racers and Durham Wasps reached the quarter-finals of the Benson and Hedges Cup, leaving Sheffield Steelers in third position and out of contention. Wasps, Racers and Steelers entered the weekend tied on points. Racers beat Steelers 6-5, leaving it until the last period to clinch their place when Richard Laplante scored the winning goal with two minutes left.

Bruce Coles scored twice for Wasps as they fought back from 3-1 down to beat Fife Flyers 6-4 while Basingstoke Beavers joined Wasps in the last eight from their group.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 39

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