Storm v Panthers

Sat 8 Dec - 19:00 League

Manchester Storm

Manchester Storm

3 - 2

The Nottingham Panthers

The Nottingham Panthers

Match Report

The Nottingham Panthers travelled back to Altrincham, for the second time this week after a 6-1 win on Tuesday night in the first leg of the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, to take on the Manchester Storm on Saturday night with league points on the line.

Michael Garnett once again got the start in goal for Nottingham opposite Matt Ginn for Manchester.

A frenetic start to the period saw almost five minutes of play pass without a whistle but neither team could fashion a clear scoring opportunity, Ollie Betteridge coming the closest to doing so as he just fanned on his shot in tight on Ginn.

Ginn flew out to the top of his crease to deny Bolduc just after Manchester killed a Nottingham powerplay (4.50) and the game remained at tied at zero.

The Panthers' penalty-killers stretched their legs after Nottingham were called for too-many-men (8.45) and after a successful kill they went on their second powerplay of the night (11.47) when Dane Byers was sent to the box for interference.

On that powerplay Nottingham thought they had taken the lead when Perlini beat Ginn only for it to be ruled out by the officials, after a review, for a man in the crease and the Storm survived the rest of the penalty kill unscathed as they returned to full strength.

On their next powerplay (16.49), however, the Panthers took the lead. Marek Tvrdon showing tremendous patience before firing a wrist shot through traffic from the blueline that eluded Ginn (17.20) to give Nottingham a one goal lead after 20 minutes of play.

Alex Bolduc almost doubled the Panthers' lead early in the second stanza, his shot ringing out off the post and away to safety with the Panthers on the powerplay (25.16).

A kerfuffle around the Storm goal led to Gui Lepine dropping the gloves with Declan Balmer (30.19). The Panthers' captain picked up a two plus ten instigator penalty, on top of his five for fighting, after his resounding win and the Storm went to the powerplay.

On that powerplay the home side tied the game (31.43), Chance Braid deflecting a shot from the blueline through the five-hole of Michael Garnett.

Just over five minutes later Manchester took the lead, Linden Springer's shot proved too hot to handle and Luke Moffatt was on hand to tuck away the rebound (36.49) and the second period closed with the Storm holding a 2-1 lead.

The Panthers killed off a penalty, picked up by Tommy Hughes at the end of the second period, and with the teams skating five-on-five in the third period youngster Josh Tetlow made a great defensive play, hitting the ice to break up a three-on-one Storm attack.

Mark Hurtubise tied the game just before the halfway point of the period (49.41) when he jammed the puck home from his knees at the backdoor after Ginn spilled Alex Guptill's initial shot from between the face-off circles.

Nottingham had a chance to take the lead when a penalty to Linden Springer sent them to the powerplay but Ginn was on hand to flash the leather and deny Luke Pither's one-timer just as the Storm returned to full strength.

The Panthers had to withstand a nervy final 2 minutes when Robert Farmer was sent to the box for tripping but the penalty killers and Michael Garnett stood firm to send the game to overtime.

Manchester took advantage of a turnover behind the Panthers' goal as overtime crossed the midway point and Ciaran Long scored off a rebound to secure the extra point for the home side, snapping The Nottingham Panthers' six game winning streak in the process.