Panthers v Blaze

Sat 9 Sep - 7pm League

Nottingham Panthers

Nottingham Panthers

4 - 3

Coventry Blaze

Coventry Blaze

Match Report

Panthers had the only goal of the first period when Mark Derlago's backhand wrap-around went in at 10.50, but for some sterling penalty killing from the visitors the margin could have been bigger at the first break.

Blaze fired an equaliser early in the second period, but that sparked a few gear changes from the home side, starting with a picture perfect power play goal which saw a string of passes and an all alone Brett Perlini at the back post firing into the roof.

Whilst short-handed Nottingham smuggled the puck out of their zone and and when Raphael Bussieres fed it to Tim Billingsley, he matched him stride for stride up the ice to ride shotgun as Billingsley rifled the top corner.

Finally, when Robert Farmer refused to give up until he had control beyond the goal line, he fed the front and Perlini slammed home his second and the Panthers fourth goal.

Three goals in less than five minutes and the match was in Panthers' hands and Blaze were taking their time out just past the half way markm, but it got a little scary when Blaze jammed in a rebound early in the third to reduce the deficit and then denied a Panthers' penalty shot taken by Evan Mosey.

Some big saves by Mike Garnett preserved the two goal cushion though, until Blaze got back to within a goal on a double-power play at 57.23.

They pulled their keeper to go six skaters against four but Panthers held out and the first league points of the season stayed in Nottingham.