Steelers v Panthers

Sat 3 Feb - 7pm League

Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield Steelers

5 - 4

Nottingham Panthers

Nottingham Panthers

Match Report

Heartbreak again for Panthers with another last gasp defeat

Dan Spang and Evan Mosey were missing for Nottingham in Sheffield and new signing Mike Vaskivuo signed too late for clearance before next week.

Michael Garnett started in nets for Panthers.

The first period in Sheffield saw a different team from the midweek cup defeat turn up and the GMB Panthers deservedly led by a 1-2 scoreline at the first break.

Raphael Bussieres worked the puck in deep behind the Steelers' net and Jeff Brown slipped it out front for Ollie Betteridge to smash home upstairs after 1.52.

Just 24 seconds later Steelers fired home an equaliser off the left wing channel to Mike Garnett's glove side but Panthers were hitting and hustling for the whole period and great work by Erik Lindhagen saw him win the puck and start a move from his own end. After a give-and-go he fired from twenty feet out, the shot rebounded to Jeff Brown and he smuggled in a go-ahead goal at 16.50.

With 2.29 to go on the period Steelers' Fransilla was left on the ice needing treatment after a big clean hit that had the home crowd booing but the referees gave no calls and the period ended with Panthers' noses just in front.

The second period had a bright start for the visitors and when Zack Phillips picked a pocket in Steelers end, he squeezed the puck to Robert Lachowicz and Phillips winged the return pass home from the edge of the circle for a 1-3 scoreline in the 26th minute.

Panthers were caught on a line change and the home side got one back with a low shot off the right channel. Panthers responded well and forced two glove saves but Nottingham took a slashing call to hinder a one-on-one breakaway chance for Steelers and when the officials sent another Panther to the box for cross checking Steelers had a five-on-three power for 102 seconds.

They converted it with a tap in at the back post to tie the game and although the one man advantage was killed off by Panthers the momentum had swung the way of the home side who took the lead for the first time at 34.58 when a turn-over in Steelers end amid another line-change by Panthers saw Sheffield rush up the ice two-on-one and score low and hard off the right channel again.

That prompted Patrick Galbraith to take over from Garnett in the Panthers goal.

In the third period Panthers killed off two minor calls and then deservedly equalised on a powerplay of their own when Robert Farmer sent the puck forward and Alex Mokshantsev fired in the short-side.

As the game headed for a regulation tie the back referee called a holding call on Panthers with 97 seconds left and Panthers killed it off until there was just five seconds left on the game clock when Steelers popped the game winning goal.

Panthers deserved better.