Ice Hockey: Eagles left on the ledge

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The Independent Online
AYR SCOTTISH EAGLES' chances of progressing into the Sekonda Superleague play-off semi-finals are virtually nil after their dramatic 2-2 draw with Cardiff Devils.

The play-off champions seemed set to record a much-needed win as goals from Jamie Steer and Jeff Hoad saw Jim Lynch's side lead 2-0 with just nine minutes remaining. But the Devils defenceman Martin Lindman set up a tense finish by pulling one back before Steve Thornton broke Eagles' hearts with an equaliser just a second from the end to take the game into overtime.

Neither side could find the winner, the draw leaving Ayr needing Nottingham or Cardiff to lose their remaining three games if they are to go through.

At the MEN Arena, the net-minder Frank Pietrangelo recorded his second successive weekend shut-out as Manchester Storm beat Bracknell Bees 4- 0. His man-of-the-match show stung the Bees and helped his team-mates storm to the top of Group A.

In a fiery first period Jeff Tomlinson's 15th-minute marker was all that separated the two sides. Tomlinson doubled his side's advantage, and Rick Brebant gave Storm some breathing space with a third with three minutes of the second session remaining. Pietrangelo continued to foil the visitors, who leaked a fourth when Jeff Jablonski broke with three minutes left to beat Bruno Campese.

Sheffield Steelers forward Ken Priestlay will reconsider his future after helping the club to Challenge Cup glory. Priestlay scored the final goal in his side's 4-0 rout of Nottingham Panthers in front of a 9,200 sell- out crowd at the Sheffield Arena. The 31-year-old Canadian said: "We will talk in the summer. I just want to enjoy this, which is phenomenal, and think about other things later."

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