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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 23:27 GMT
Devils denied as Blaze claim Cup
Coventry Blaze held off a determined effort from the Cardiff Devils to lift the Challenge Cup on Thursday.

In an ill-tempered second leg in Wales, the home side led 4-1 at one stage as they sought to overturn a 6-1 deficit.

But indiscipline cost Devils dear, Blaze bouncing back to win 5-4 and seal an 11-5 aggregate victory.

Both sides had players ejected as tempers boiled over, another fight breaking out as Coventry began their celebrations at the end of the game.

Referee Nigel Boniface dished out 188 penalty minutes - 155 in the first two periods alone - as two Devils and four Blaze players were ejected from the game.

Devils' John Craighead and Andre Payette of the Blaze received double minor penalties for roughing after just 43 seconds.

Then, after Ashley Tait had cancelled out Jon Cullen's opener for Cardiff, Craighead and Payette were sent for an early shower following another fight.

The Devils clawed the aggregate score back to 7-5 thanks to goals from Dave Matsos, Nathan Rempel and Vezio Sacratini.

But two goals inside 50 seconds from Russ Cowley and Tom Watkins effectively ended the contest.

Devils then lost Kirk DeWaele on a game misconduct penalty before Coventry's Wade Belak was ejected on a match penalty for roughing.

Jozef Lukac made it 4-4 on the night and Bari McKenzie - on a two-way contract with English Premier League side Milton Keynes Lightning - won it for Blaze.

Coventry Blaze 6-1 Cardiff Devils
16 Feb 05 |  Other Sport

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