ICE HOCKEY : Panthers under pressure

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils kept up the pressure on the Premier Division leaders Nottingham Panthers, who had a topsy-turvy weekend.

Against Whitley Warriors, Nottingham were without Rick Brebant and Randall Weber, who were injured, plus Ashley Tait, who was suspended. But once Panthers got used to icing just two lines, they took control.

They were 2-0 up at the end of the first period and set up camp by the Warriors' goal in the second period to extend their lead to 6-0. Panthers then spent the rest of the time successfully defending their shut-out.

The next day, with Tait restored but Simon Hunt out injured and Brebant and Weber still spectators, Humberside Hawks matched Nottingham goal for goal to take the match to 5-5 after 25 minutes.

Then Hawks took over. Scott Morrison and Scott Young put them 7-5 ahead, and Panthers pulled Steven Butler in goal in favour of Brian Cox. Hawks' first two shots at Cox went in for goals and in the final period they outshot Panthers 23-7 for a 13-7 win.

Tony Hand got five goals and two assists in Edinburgh Racers' 9-8 win over Basingstoke Beavers to consolidate his position at the top of the scoring charts, 31 points ahead of Randy Smith of Peterborough Pirates.

BRITISH LEAGUE Premier Division: Saturday: Basingstoke 8 Edinburgh 9; Bracknell 5 Fife 3; Durham 9 Humberside 5; Milton Keynes 3 Cardiff 7; Nottingham 6 Whitley 0; Sheffield 11 Peterborough 2. Sunday: Cardiff 8 Basingstoke 2; Humberside 13 Nottingham 7; Milton Keynes 8 Edinburgh 10; Peterborough 6 Fife 6; Sheffield 7 Bracknell 2; Whitley 4 Durham 7. First Division: Saturday: Dumfries 3 Solihull 14; Paisley 17 Chelmsford 2; Slough 14 Blackburn 3; Telford 5 Swindon 3. Sunday: Blackburn 9 Guildford 5; Chelmsford 6 Medway 5; Dumfries 6 Paisley 14; Swindon 15 Lee Valley 2; Trafford 5 Slough 7.

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