Kummu ban spoils Eagles cup chance

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The Independent Online
Ayr Scottish Eagles had good news on the ice and bad off it this weekend as they prepare for Saturday's Benson & Hedges Cup final while their opponents, Nottingham Panthers, had at least the consolation of just one defeat, writes Steve Pinder.

Ayr started off as party poopers at Cardiff Devils' rink, spoiling the Welsh club's 10th birthday celebrations with goals from Vince Boe, Scott Young and Jiri Lala. The following day, they travelled to Sheffield Steelers' Dome of Steel, the venue for their cup game, to overcome a 2-0 first-period deficit as Brendan Flynn and Markus Berwanger tied the score.

The third period was evenly matched with two goals apiece, Tim Cranston, of Steelers, scoring with 13 minutes left. Neither side was able to break the deadlock in overtime and the game finished 4-4.

The bad news for Ayr was the banning from Saturday of their Ontarian defender Ryan Kummu. Last Thursday, he and Hilton Ruggles of Manchester Storm just finished a double minor of four minutes of penalties. As they readied to rejoin the game, Kummu skated into the box where Ruggles sat and started hitting him again. Kummu was suspended for six matches, including the final, and any appeal is unlikely to succeed.

Nottingham Panthers entertained Sheffield Steelers on Saturday in the local derby and must be glad they are not meeting their neighbours in the final. Steelers were 3-1 up at the end of the second and cruised the third, with a Tim Cranston power play giving Steelers a 4-1 win.