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Five-game ban for Capitals netminder Hiadlovsky for kicking offence

ICE HOCKEY

Tomas Hiadlovsky, Edinburgh Capitals' 23-year-old Slovakian netminder, has been banned for five games, writes Nigel Duncan. He received a match penalty for kicking late on in Capitals' Elite League fixture at Hull Stingrays on Saturday, and an Elite League spokesman said: "This penalty carries an automatic five-match ban. After the review by the disciplinary committee, it has been decided that the five-match ban will stand."

Hiadlovsky's Fife-born understudy, Craig Holland, who played in Sunday's overtime win over Hull, will stand in again as Capitals visit Cardiff Devils in the Elite League and host Dundee CCS Stars in the Challenge Cup, Group A.

n Jordan Krestanovich, Braehead Clan's playcaller, yesterday praised his over-worked defence and promised them that reinforcements are on the way. He is confident that the new Finnish/Italian signing Pippo Limnell Finocchiaro will be cleared to play this weekend, and he is hopeful that Mitch Maunu will be back from injury. Their presence would take Clan's blue line squad up to six for a Challenge Cup trip to Belfast Giants, the reigning Elite League champions, on Saturday, and at Hull Stingrays for an Elite League game 24 hours later.

Krestanovich, whose men were edged out 2-1 at Dundee CCS Stars in the Challenge Cup on Sunday, said: "We've some injury problems, guys playing through injuries and we're still waiting for Jade [Galbraith]. We've been playing with four defencemen for the last few games which is so tough to do in this league; I commend the guys for their efforts. Pippo should have cleared his paperwork for this weekend. He's training with us, so he will be ready if everything come through on time."

hockey

The favourites tag does not always sit well with Scotland teams but Derek Forsyth's charges should sail through the first round of the inaugural World League in Lousada, against opponents from well down the world rankings in in Morocco, Gibraltar, hosts Portugal and Italy, writes Craig Madden. The top two sides in this single-pool format qualify for the next round in the new year, but the Scots will feel they should finish in pole position.

"We've been lucky with the order of games – we play the poorest sides first – and I would love to say we can take on our final game against Italy playing for the honour of finishing in top spot," said Eugene Connolly, the manager.

Although results in build-up games have not always shown it, Connolly maintains that the squad have come on considerably under the tutelage of Forsyth in recent months. "This is becoming very much Derek's squad; he has brought in several new players and is putting his own individual stamp on the side," said Connolly.

The return of Niall Stott to Scotland colours is a real bonus as the veteran of 120 Scotland caps will bring vast experience and vigour to the side after months out vainly trying to earn selection for the Great Britain side for the London Olympics. "It's good to have Niall back in the side; I rate him one of the best players in the land and I'm astonished he was not picked for the Olympic squad," said Connolly.

Sharpness in front of goal could be the key to success in Lousada, and the onus will fall mainly on the strikers Alan Forsyth, Kenny Bain and Fergus Dunn, from open play, along with Dan Coultas from setpieces. The late withdrawal of Beeston's Gordon McIntyre from the midfield is a blow, but there is plenty of cover with the experience of Chris Nelson, Iain Scholefield, Gareth Hall and Chris Grassick who should be able to set up enough chances for the strikers.

The Scots open today against Morocco, and nothing less than a convincing win will do as the North Africans are 36 places below them in the international rankings.

n Edinburgh University scored an upset 2-1 win over Grange in Pool B of the Presidents Cup and the students stand a good chance of reaching the final. They trail Grange by two points but Grange have completed their programme, and a victory for University over AMN Hillhead on Saturday would take them into top spot.

BASKETBALL

Gareth Murray, the Glasgow Rocks forward from Arbroath, was named in the BBL Team of the Week after scoring 16 points in Friday's narrow loss to champions Newcastle Eagles before celebrating his 28th birthday on Sunday by scoring 20 points and 11 rebounds as Rocks beat Durham Wildcats, writes Lorin McDougall.

CYCLING

Sir Chris Hoy is scheduled to return to international racing in the Sprinters Cup at the Rotterdam Six-Day meeting in early January, writes Colin Renton. The 36-year-old Scot has hinted that he may line up at the Revolution Meetings over the winter but he has declared his intention to race sparingly over the next year while he considers whether to make himself available for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hoy, who won the Rotterdam event three years ago, will line up against his fellow Briton Jason Kenny, the Olympic sprint champion, and organisers are hopeful of attracting other big names to complete the field.

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