Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vipers Let a Lead Slip and Suffer the Curse of the Devils; Ice Hockey

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vipers Let a Lead Slip and Suffer the Curse of the Devils; Ice Hockey

Article excerpt

Cardiff Devils........................................ 7 Mobilx Newcastle Vipers ..................... 4 EMBARRASSED on Saturday night by losing 7-1 at home to bottom-of-thetable Hull Stingrays, the Vipers looked to be on course for a morale-boosting away win when Mike Berry's 32ndminute powerplay marker put them 3-0 ahead, writes PETER ADAMS.

However, the Vipers conceded a goal a minute before the second break, two in the 42nd minute, and then a further two in just under five minutes to go 5-3 behind.

The scorer of the Vipers'' opening goal on four minutes, Matic Kralj, then got his second of the night and 26th league goal of the season to give the Vipers hope of getting something out of the game on 49 minutes.

Six minutes later, though, Mark Smith hit the insurance marker and, with netminder Michel Robinson withdrawn to the bench, Phil Hill shot home an empty net goal with 19 seconds remaining to make it 7-4. Earlier, Brent Hughes struck his fifth goal in the 11 games he has played for the Vipers to make it 2-0 on 15 minutes.

The Devils' fightback began with Max Birbraer''s score on 18 minutes and continued after the break with Tylor Michel netting two goals in 24 seconds, the first a powerplay marker and the second a coast-to-coast effort.

The Vipers went behind to Ryan Finnerty''s 45th-minute goal and Matt Miller made it 5-3 on 49 minutes.

On Saturday night against the Stingrays, the Vipers left the ice for the first break trailing by two goals, Jason Silverthorn and Lee Mitchell netting.

Nineteen seconds after play resumed Jeff Glowa made it 3-0 and on 31 minutes Silverthorn was successful for a second time.

After wasting a long five-on-three powerplay opportunity early in the final period, the Vipers capitalised on a single skater advantage on 55 minutes thanks to Ryan Mahrle, but the Stingrays scored straight away from the face-off through Konstantin Kalmikov (56 mins).

The Stingrays scored twice more through player-coach Sylvain Cloutier (58 mins) and Lee Esders (59 mins). SCORERS: Yesterday - Devils: Michel 2+0, Smith 1+2, Birbraer, Finnerty and Miller 1+1, Hill 1+0, Latulippe 0+3, Voth 0+2, Jarvis, Romfo and Towe 0+1. …

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