Panthers face holders in last four

Ice hockey
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The Independent Online
Nottingham Panthers, who only just kept their record of appearing in every Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final by edging Cardiff Devils in a shoot- out, will take on the holders, Sheffield Steelers in the last four.

The draw, made yesterday, pitted Basingstoke Bison against the Super League newcomers, Ayr Scottish Eagles.

It took Mike Blaisdell's decisive penalty to put Panthers through after overtime in the second leg ended with them level at 4-4 with Devils, who had a goal by Venzio Sacratini disallowed two minutes into overtime.

The other three matches went to form and without such drama. Ayr Scottish Eagles, still to be defeated in the Cup, beat Manchester Storm 3-2 for a 7-4 aggregate victory.

Bracknell Bees surrendered a 4-0 lead over Basingstoke Bison, and with Blake Knox taking his game tally to four, the 6-5 victory for Bison gave them an 11-8 aggregate triumph.

Sheffield Steelers scarcely needed to break sweat to beat Newcastle Cobras 2-0 on the night and 8-3 overall with the goalminder Piero Greco keeping out all Cobras' efforts.

BENSON & HEDGES CUP Quarter-finals, second Leg: Cardiff Devils 3 Nottingham Panthers 4 (agg 4-4; Nottingham win 3-2 on penalty shots); Ayr Scottish Eagles 3 Manchester Storm2 (agg 7-4); Bracknell Bees 5 Basingstoke Bison 6 (agg 8-11); Newcastle Cobras 0 Sheffield Steelers 2 (agg 3-8). Semi- final draw: Nottingham v Sheffield; Basingstoke v Ayr. First leg: 26 Oct; second leg: 31 Oct.

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