Flyers v Panthers

Sat 20 Oct - 19:15 League

Fife Flyers

Fife Flyers

7 - 5

The Nottingham Panthers

The Nottingham Panthers

Match Report

After defeat in Glasgow on Friday night The Nottingham Panthers went into Kirkcaldy looking to get off the mark on their three-in-three Scottish road trip in a clash of the EIHL's top two teams.

Sam Gospel got the start in goal for the Panthers, opposite Shane Owen in the Fife net, and Tyler VanKleef returned to the line-up, after missing Friday's game againt the Clan, in place of Tyler Biggs.

Both teams came out of the blocks putting the puck on net, Bulmer forcing Gospel into an early Glove save before Henderson tested Owen from in close.

As the period approached the ten minute mark Jacob Doty was on hand to slot the puck home on the doorstep (9.57), after Robert Farmer's initial shot proved too hot to handle for the Fife netminder, to give the Panthers a 0-1 lead.

Alex Bolduc was sent to the penalty box at 11.56 and it took the red hot Flyers just 6 seconds to tie the game, Mike Cazzola beating Gospel (12.02) to make it 1-1.

Shortly after the Fife equaliser Nottingham killed a penalty to Tommy Hughes (13.15) and there was no further scoring in the first 20 minutes.

Early second period penalties to Guptill and Birzins saw the teams skate four-on-four before Justin Kovacs was called for hooking, giving the hosts a four-on-three powerplay opportunity on which they made no mistake. Aarssen scoring from the blueline (22.52) to make it 2-1.

Fife scored their third of the night when Richard Birzins beat Gospel (27.15) to make it a two goal spread.

Things got even better for the home side when they scored two goals in just over two minutes when the period passed the halfway mark. First Carlo Finucci broke in short-handed and beat Gospel high on the backhand (31.03) then Brett Bulmer scored, after Nottingham had a goal disallowed for goaltender interference, on a five-on-three powerplay (33.05) to make it 5-1 to the home side heading into the third period.

In search of a miracle comeback The Nottingham Panthers got the third off to the best possible start, Tommy Hughes beating Owen (42.37) to make it 5-2.

With Nottingham in search of goals the game opened up and so did the flood gates, five in 3.04 to be precise.

Luke Pither made it 5-3 when he was fed by Justin Kovacs (46.35) before Danick Gauthier restored the Flyers' three goal lead (46.57). Mark Hurtubise then scored on the Panthers' next foray into Fife territory, tipping home a Tommy Hughes shot (47.14) to pull the Panthers back within two. Luke Pither scored his second of the night and made it 6-5 when Brett Perlini's pass found him in space (48.55).

EIHL player of the week Paul Crowder completed the scoring sequence (49.39) when he beat Gospel to resore Fife's two goal advantage.

Despite a late powerplay with the netminder pulled Nottingham couldn't get the puck by Shane Owen, Luke Pither coming close when he rattled the bar inside the final two minutes, and Fife would take the two points they needed to replace the Panthers at the top of the league.