Ice Hockey: Wasps draw Steelers' sting

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Basingstoke Beavers and Sheffield Steelers, of the First Division, finally fell by the wayside in the Benson & Hedges Cup, losing to the Premier sides, Nottingham Panthers and Durham Wasps, respectively, in the quarter-finals, writes Steve Pinder.

Steelers, playing last season's League and championship double winners, went into the two matches without their leading scorer, Steve MacSwain, an American qualified to hold a British passport who was declared ineligible by the British Ice Hockey Association last week.

Sheffield shrugged aside his absence and came away from the first leg at Durham just 7-6 down thanks to two late goals from Steve Nemeth and Paul Dixon. The next day in front of a 7,500 home crowd Les Millie tied the score in the first period, Michael Tasker restored Wasps' lead in the second and Ron Shudra tied the score in the third.

Ten minutes of sudden-death overtime remained scoreless and it came to penalties. Rick Brebant, Tim Cranston and Mike Blaisdell scored for Wasps while Shudra and Nemeth missed for Sheffield. Millie stepped up for the final Steelers' penalty only to see it saved by Stephen Foster. Against the Beavers, Panthers won the first leg 10-7 and the second leg 8-7.