December 1, 2011

Nottingham Panthers Win One Over The Cardiff Devils ( UK Round Up 30th November)

Wall and Doucet end their seasons early as the Panthers Spoil the Devils 25 year Celebrations.

It was a busy mid week in the UK both on and off the ice.  Off the ice the big news was that English Premier League strugglers Peterborough are on the lookout for a new goaltender after accepting the resignation of Stephen Wall. Wall has asked the club to release him after 2 spells with the club since 2002, including the 2009 triple winning season. Wall was seen as one of the better British goalies even deputising for Elite League sides, Basingstoke, Newcastle and Manchester.

This season however had not gone to well for Wall and the Phantoms who remain just one point off the bottom of the EPL but do expect to have new import signing Ondrej Lauko available before Christmas. The other big news was that Belfast’s current leading scorer Benoit Doucet may miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. The injury was sustained in Saturday’s win over the Braehead Clan when Doucet was involved in a fracas and a linesman fell on him. It is a major blow for the Giants as Doucet had scored 33 points in 22 games so far this season and led the league leaders in goals and points.

There were also 2 games in the Elite League mid week and one in the EPL.

Nottingham Panthers 4 Cardiff Devils 3 (AOT)
It was party time in the Cardiff Devils as it was 25 years to the day since the Devils first played in the city and welcomed a team that first visited the Devils in that same pre Superleague era, the Nottingham Panthers. The Panthers though were once again without Great Britain international David Clarke who is still recovering from a car crash. It was the Devils who started the party in fine style racing to a 2 goal lead with 2 goals in 2 minutes. But the Panthers fought back and took the lead before the end of the first period. The goals dried up in the second but Davies did manage to bring the Devils back on to level terms and as the game ticked down and headed to overtime when the Panthers spoiled the Devils party with Francis’s winner. Where the Devils are in the next 15 years is a question that will not have an answer any time soon but what is fair to say is that the Cardiff Devils like their rivals on the night have become one of the most famous teams in UK ice hockey and are well placed to continue this. In the more immediate terms the win for Nottingham keeps them moving closer to Belfast whilst the Cardiff Devils miss out on the chance to catch the Coventy Blaze in fourth spot.

Coventry Blaze 1 Braehead Clan 3
Coventry again travelled north of the border this time to face the Braehead Clan. It was an even and nervous the first two periods as both sides found chances hard to come by but it was the homeside that took the lead through Mike Bayrack before Kralj levelled the game in the second for the visitors. The deadlock was then broken with 45 seconds to play as the usually provider Jade Galbraith turned scorer to give the Clan the go ahead and Kyle Bruce added the empty netter for a vital two points as the Clan look to maintain their position going into the busy December period. Coventry on the other hand will be disappointed as they miss the chance to close in on the Sheffield Steelers ahead off weekend games between Dundee and the injury struck Belfast Giants.

English Premier League

Basingstoke Bison 2 Milton Keynes Lightning 4
There was a rare mid week game in the EPL as the inconsistent Basingstoke Bison travelled to a Milton Keynes side streaking and gaining ground on the Flames and Jets at the top fast. It was the Lightning who won their fourth game in a row with a 4 – 2 win.

Neil Tucker

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