Ice Hockey: Rivals vie to buy Steelers

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THE PROPOSED takeover of Sheffield Steelers took another twist yesterday when it was revealed that the club are involved in negotiations with two potential new owners.

The World Indoor Soccer League pulled out of a possible buy-out late on Thursday after the Steelers' current owner, George Dodds, rejected the offer, but has it emerged the American organisation is still interested in buying the club.

However, it now faces competition for the Superleague franchise from an unnamed second party, with the contest hopefully resulting in an end to Sheffield's plight within the next two days.

The WISL has finalised details for an indoor football side to begin playing at the Sheffield Arena this summer and the acquisition of the Yorkshire club would bolster its position. Having already offered around pounds 400,000 to wipe out current debts and to help ensure Sheffield finish this season, Dodds is now believed to be reconsidering the increased bid.

Manchester Storm's march towards the Sekonda Superleague title continued with Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Steelers. An inspirational display from the netminder, Frank Pietrangelo, was the basis of Storm's 18th successive home win and fifth straight victory in the league.

Manchester made a rapid start when Kelly Askew netted after just 81 seconds, only for Teeder Wynne to level just before the quarter-hour mark.

Dave Morrison's powerplay strike separated the sides in the second period before Storm killed the game with two goals in 47 seconds from Rob Robinson and Jeff Jablonski.

Jason Heywood pulled a goal back but Jablonski added an empty-netter with 11 seconds left to send cash-strapped Sheffield to their third successive defeat.