Panthers make Kings see double

Nottingham Panthers retained their two-point lead at the top of the premier division with two demolitions -14-5 and 12-4 - of Milton Keynes in four days, which also extended their unbeaten run to 18 games. In the second game, Kings were 3-2 down after 17minutes, but Simon Hunt made it 4-2 to Panthers and six unanswered goals followed.

Second-placed Sheffield Steelers needed six unanswered goals for their win against Basingstoke Beavers. Even without three key players, Beavers took the lead through Anthony Page after two minutes, and the two sides were never more than a goal apart, with Chris Chard making it 3-2 to Beavers at the end of the second period.

The roof fell in on Basingstoke in the final period. Tim Cranston and Ken Priestly restored the lead for Sheffield, and four more goals followed for an 8-3 win. Beavers can take comfort from the knowledge that a full-strength squad could have helped themwin, and the other premier sides now know Sheffield are beatable.

Basingstoke had the consolation of a 7-4 win the previous night over Bracknell Bees. Bracknell opened, but Basingstoke's three without reply saw them end the second period 3-2 up, and the same feat at the end of the second period gave them the victory.

If there is to be an ice hockey hero for 1995, Steve James of Lee Valley Lions must be a contender. Their game against Guildford Flames saw them start without their snowed-in netminder, John Matassa. Mel Grundy stood in, but after 17 minutes aggravated agroin injury and could not continue.

While Scott Bonner, the back-up to the back-up, was getting dressed, James, the man largely credited with keeping London's sole senior club afloat, took to the net.

He faced 13 shots for just two goals which, given the 21-5 win for Flames, gave him the best statistics of all three keepers for the Lions in the game.

British League Premier Division: Basingstoke 7 Bracknell 4; Durham 5 Whitley 2; Peterborough 7 Milton Keynes 10; Sheffield 7 Humberside 5. (Tuesday): Basingstoke 3 Sheffield 8; Milton Keynes 4 Nottingham 12; Whitley 8 Humberside 8.

British League Division One: Lee Valley 5 Guildford 21; Medway 7 Telford 5. (Monday): Chelmsford 7 Guildford 4; Dumfries 13 Teesside 6; Paisley 11 Blackburn 4; Solihull 8 Medway 4; Trafford 7 Telford 5.

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