Devils v Panthers
9 - 4
The Nottingham Panthers
The Nottingham Panthers took on league runners up Cardiff Devils in their PredictorBet Semi-Final at 5.00pm on Saturday evening.
Patrick Munson got the start in goal for the Panthers, who were without Robert Farmer (upper body) and Steve Lee (upper body), opposite Ben Bowns for the Devils.
The Panthers’ netminder was forced into his first save of the game when Myers shot from in close, Munson was equal to the task, however, and the Panthers cleared the zone.
Just two shifts into his night team MVP Tommy Hughes took an elbow to the head that saw him exit the game inside the first two minutes, leaving the Panthers with just five defenceman for the remainder of the night.
Mark Hurtubise had Nottingham’s first chance of note, but he saw his slapshot from the right wing turned aside by Bowns.
With Tim Billingsley (6.08) in the penalty box the Devils took the lead (7.00). They doubled their lead, after killing a Panthers powerplay (8.24), when Charles Linglet (11.34) fired into a half empty cage following a tremendous cross-ice pass.
The Devils weren’t done there. Luke Pither (17.16) was sent to the box and Cardiff made the Panthers pay, Linglet scoring his second of the game (17.56).
Just as the period entered it’s final minutes the Devils extended their lead even further, Richardson beating Munson (19.00) from distance to make it 4-0 as the teams entered the first intermission.
Alex Guptill scored just 29 seconds into the second period to give the Panthers a lifeline when he deflected Chris Stewart’s pass into the back of Bowns’ goal. It didn’t take long for the Panthers to pull within two, Mark Hurtubise (23.03) crashing the net and depositing the loose change he found at the top of the crease.
Cardiff restored their three goal advantage just eleven second later, Bryce Reddick applying the final touch.
The Devils once again killed a Panthers’ powerplay and extended their lead, Stephen Dixon deflecting the puck by Munson (26.16).
Josh Tetlow (29.04) floated one on goal after Alex Bolduc’s face-off win and the puck eluded Bowns to bring the Panthers back within three, the youngster following up his first goal of the season with a monstrous hit along the boards.
Bowns saved from Guptill as the Panthers continued to push men forward looking to mount a comeback but Cardiff once again added to their tally, Charles Linglet completing his hat-trick (33.34).
Reddick got his second of the game before the period ended, beating Munson (39.00) to send the Devils into the second intermission leading 8-3).
Sam Gospel replaced Patrick Munson between the pipes for the Panthers to begin the third but he was beaten by Linglet (41.51), his fourth of the night, as the Devils continued to press.
When Gleason Fournier was sent to the box for slashing (44.16) the Panthers pulled one back, Jaynen Rissling firing a one-timer over Bowns glove (46.04) to make it 9-4.
Nottingham had a late chance to add to their tally when Fournier (55.17) was sent to the penalty box for tripping, they then had eight seconds of five-on-three time as Batch (57.09) was called for delay-of game.
There was to be no further scoring though and the Devils skated into tomorrow’s grand final with a resounding 9-4 win.