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Ice Hockey: An away day to forget for the Vipers.


Edinburgh Capitals 4

Mobilx Newcastle Vipers 1

WHEN they headed north to Murrayfield, the Vipers left behind the gritty away form that had earned them back-to-back road wins against the Basingstoke Bison and top-of-the-table Coventry Blaze the previous weekend, writes PETER ADAMS.

Rob Wilson's team started well with a goal but could not continue in the same vein and, by the middle of the second period, were a beaten side.

The Vipers iced for the first time their new defensive signing, the experienced Burt Henderson, who was paired with the up-and-coming teenager Jez Lundin.

Unable to sign a centre before the transfer deadline, Wilson experimented with his forward lines and broke up the formidable Derek Campbell, Colin Shields and Todd Jackson combination.

Jeff Hutchins played in Campbell's place with the team's top point-scorer linking up with GB internationals Shaun Johnson and David Longstaff. Dean Holland centred the third line, with Andrew Payette and Ben Campbell operating on either side of him.

Nine minutes into the game and the foundation for a third successive away victory was laid when the Vipers' new starting line opened up the Capitals' defence, the move finishing with Shields shooting home his 22nd goal of the season.

But the Vipers were to go in at the first break trailing 2-1. Defenceman Ben Storey was serving a boarding penalty when Mike Stutzel equalised on 16 minutes.

Then, with just under two minutes of the period remaining, Vipers goalie and their eventual man-of-the-match Ryan McDonald was beaten by Neil Payne.

When play resumed, the Vipers wasted a powerplay opportunity and were made to pay on 28 minutes, Stutzel scoring his second goal of the night and effectively winning the game for the second-from-bottom side.

A poor night for the Vipers was made worse when Stutzel hit his hat-trick marker into an empty net on 58 minutes.

EDINBURGH CAPITALS: Stutzel 3+0, Hay 1+1, Christiansen, Hemingway, Luza, O'Connor, Stefishen and Wires 0+1. NEWCASTLE VIPERS: Shields 1+0, Hutchins and Jackson 0+1.


SCORER Vipers' Colin Shields.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2008
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