Ice Hockey: Inspired Bees sign on Sinov

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The Independent Online
WITH the transfer shutter coming down on New Year's Eve, a month earlier than in previous years, fans of three Heineken Premier Division teams should, bar 11th hour coaching whims, be hearing unusual accents on the ice.

Rather than Canadian or American imports, Durham Wasps, Billingham Bombers and Bracknell Bees have each acquired a Ukrainian. Of the three, Wasps and Bees were probably happiest as they won on Sunday.

Bees were at home to Nottingham Panthers and besides having Oleg Sinov up front they had the reliable British Gary Brine in goal. The two players were the key to the 7-3 win with Sinov scoring four of the goals, while Brine turned aside all but three of 53 shots on goal.

Wasps signed Sergei Gavrilenko and he contributed a goal in the 9-2 win over a Fife Flyers side missing the injured Frank Morris and Rob Abel. But the hero was the import Rick Brebant, who scored five.

Bombers, despite the presence of Anatoli Naida, lost 14-8 to Murrayfield Racers, whose prolific scorer Tony Hand, for the ninth consecutive season, chose the post-Christmas weekend to pass the 100-point mark.

HEINEKEN LEAGUE Premier Division: (Saturday) Fife 4 Murrayfield 9; Humberside 7 Bracknell 3. (Sunday) Bracknell 7 Nottingham 3; Cardiff 11 Peterborough 2; Durham 9 Fife 2; Murrayfield 14, Billingham 8; Whitley 9 Humberside 7.