Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vipers Are the `Wigan of Ice'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vipers Are the `Wigan of Ice'

Article excerpt

Paddy O'Connor has described Newcastle Vipers as the "Wigan Athletic"

of ice hockey's Elite League.

Like football's Latics, the Vipers unexpectedly lie second in their first season in the top-flight, form they aim to continue when they welcome Sheffield Steelers to the Newcastle Arena at 6pm tomorrow.

"We're a bit like Wigan Athletic ( a smaller club getting bigger by the week," said chairman O'Connor, who played for the Steelers in 1994-5.

"At the start of the season we were looking at London, Edinburgh and Basingstoke as the teams we would judge ourselves against but we're up there competing with the likes of Nottingham and Sheffield.

"To be up there right now with a pretty depleted squad is a fantastic achievement."

Paul Ferone and Simon Leach both return from injury to reinforce the squad, although new import Cory Morgan is unlikely to be available for a fortnight.

Hardman Mel Angelstad has five more games of an eight-match suspension to serve after striking Coventry Blaze's Jeff Hutchins with his stick. …

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