Panthers v Clan
6 - 3
The Nottingham Panthers looked to return to winning ways on Saturday night as the red hot Glasgow Clan visited the Motorpoint Arena.
Michael Garnett returned between the pipes for the Panthers, opposite Joel Rumpel for the Clan.
A lively start to the game saw both sides exchange chances, but neither team could create a ‘grade A’ chance to forge ahead.
Nottingham got the games first powerplay (7.49) but couldn’t find a way through a resolute Clan penalty kill and the away side returned to full strength.
Alex Guptill hit the post on the Panthers next powerplay opportunity (17.18), he made no such mistake on his next attempt. Just after the Clan returned to full strength Tim Billingsley’s shot from the point ricocheted around the crease and popped out to the EIHL’s leading goalscorer at the side of the Glasgow goal, he deposited the puck into the back of the yawning cage (19.26) to send the Panthers into the first intermission with a one goal lead.
Early in the second period Brett Perlini (24.03) danced through the Clan defence and beat Rumpel high over the shoulder to double the Panthers’ lead.
31 seconds after killing a Clan penalty the home side found their lead cut in half. Gerard Hanson pouncing on a puck in the slot, from a broken play on a face-off, and firing past Michael Garnett (28.51).
The Scottish side then tied the game, Brendan Connolly roofing a laser high into Garnett’s goal (30.17), originally ruled as no goal on the ice a lengthy review saw the call overturned.
Clan killed a penalty to former Sheffield Steeler Zack Fitzgerald and Rumpel had to be sharp with his pads as Stewart, Perlini and Farmer combined for a good scoring chance around the Glasgow goal.
Glasgow saw out the first half of a late second period penalty (38.59) when they were caught with too-many-men on the ice and the game remained tied at two apiece after two periods of play.
Nottingham couldn’t break through on the remaining powerplay time and the Clan returned to full strength.
Not long after returning to full strength the Clan struck, Tyson Wilson (45.17) cycling around the back of the goal before beating Garnett high on the glove save.
Joel Rumpel then produced the save of the game as robbed Dylan Richard, wide open at the back door, to keep the away side in the lead.
As the Clan attempted the advance down the ice Steve Lee stepped up to intercept the puck on the blue line and his quick shot deflected off of a Clan defenceman and up and over Rumpel (49.34) to tie the game at three.
Less than three minutes later the Panthers were back in front. Alex Guptill showing tremendous patience in the right wing face-off circle to pick his spot through a screen and past Rumpel (52.06).
Guptill’s goal forced Clan Head Coach Pete Russell to burn his time-out early (52.06) as he looked to settle his troops down heading into the stretch run of the game.
It was to no avail though as Luke Pither (55.01) skated out from behind the Clan goal and, with no other options available to him, fired high over Rumpel’s glove to make it a two goal game inside the final five minutes.
Joel Rumpel was pulled in favour of the extra attacker with 1.44 remaining in regulation time but Luke Pither (59.08) scored into the empty net and The Nottingham Panthers returned to winning ways!