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'Powerless' Longstaff hates the sidelines; ICE HOCKEY.

VIPERS skipper David Longstaff is preparing for a frustrating month on the sidelines watching his teammates toil.

The influential forward (pictured above) picked up a knee injury in Vipers' defeat at Coventry Blaze 12 days ago and now faces a spell out of action, with tomorrow's game against Edinburgh Capitals at Whitley Bay the first home match he will sit out.

He said: "I'm not a good watcher of games at all. I much prefer to be on the ice, in the middle of the action where I can have some sort of effect on the game. Sitting on the sidelines you want to help, but you're powerless."

Vipers were 2-0 up against Blaze when Longstaff went off injured but the league leaders came back to win 4-2 "It was so frustrating, as we'd changed lines around and I was with Matic Kralj and Matus Petricko," said Longstaff. "We had clicked pretty well in the Saturday game against Hull, and in Coventry the next night both Matus and myself scored early on and we were 2-0 up.

"Then I left the game after my knee injury, Matic missed a while after getting hit by Jason Robinson, and the Blaze came back into the game and won in the end.

"I honestly believe that if we hadn't had the injuries that night we'd have won in Coventry. It's those changes in momentum during a game which can have a big impact."

Sixth-placed Vipers go into the Edinburgh game just one point and one place behind their Scottish opponents, and Longstaff says Newcastle owe the Capitals after losing 4-2 to them earlier this month.

He said: "You look at the table and see it's fifth against sixth, but it really is a big game. We play Edinburgh three more times at home starting Saturday, so the head to head games can have a big say in the final League standings.

"We probably owe them one too after the last game.

"Edinburgh and Newcastle are pretty well matched as teams, they have a pretty hot goalie [Cody Rudkowsky] but then Robbie [Michel Robinson] has come back for us and picked up where he left off. He was sensational in Coventry and gives us a chance to win."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 22, 2010
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