Newcastle grounded by high-flying Fife

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The Independent Online
Ice hockey

STEVE PINDER

The 4,000 fans who flocked to Newcastle Warriors' new home to see them take on Fife Flyers in the Premier Division were swiftly brought down to earth.

A Mike Morrison goal and two from Chris Palmer made it 3-1 to Fife in the first period, effectively ending the contest. Despite the two sides matching each other in the next two periods, Fife won 6-4 to leave Newcastle at the bottom of the table.

Top are Cardiff Devils, who met Durham Wasps in a four-pointer. Cardiff were without the injured Ivan Matulik, and Mike Ware was called on to fill his role in attack rather than defence. The tactical ploy proved a masterstroke as Cardiff emerged 7-3 winners, with Randy Smith netting a hat-trick.

The Devils will also be grateful to Slough Jets, who broke their six- game losing streak with two draws. Their best performance came against Fife where, with four minutes left, they were trailing 5-2. But four goals without reply gave them the lead and only Chris Palmer saved the Scots' blushes. With two minutes remaining his goal secured a point.

Slough repeated the 6-6 scoreline against Wasps, this time Kip Noble's intervention preventing Durham's defeat, again with two minutes left.

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