Panthers unbowed : ice hockey

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The Independent Online
Nottingham Panthers suffered a set-back at the weekend but they still head the Premier Division by one point from Sheffield Steelers with two games in hand. Panthers continued in their winning ways against Edinburgh Racers, taking a 3-0 lead after 12 minutes and only Ivan Matulik's two goals were any consolation for Racers as they lost 10-2. But the following day Panthers tasted defeat for only the second time this season as Durham Wasps avenged a 7-3 thrashing two weeks ago with an 8-5 win.

Sheffield breezed past Peterborough Pirates 6-2 and Whitley Warriors 12-6 but a revitalised Fife Flyers dented Cardiff Devils' prospects. Flyers welcomed back import Mark Morrison from injury and 1993-94 player of the year Doug Smail, who returned from the States to help his former club for the rest of the season. Their presence inspired the 7-4 win that left Devils four points off the top.