Panthers v Storm
0 - 3
The Nottingham Panthers welcomed the Manchester Storm to the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night for an Elite League match-up. The Panthers were looking to bounce back from a disappointing one point haul last weekend after defeats to Fife (in regulation) and Manchester (in overtime).
Patrick Munson got the start in goal for the Panthers, who scratched Robert Farmer (lower body), Joe Hazeldine (GB), Alex Guptill and Michael Garnett, opposite Matt Ginn for the Storm.
The home side came out firing on all cylinders, Jon Rheault testing Ginn in close before Steve Lee fashioned himself a shooting opportunity, with a nice toe drag at the top of the face-off circles, only to see his effort snagged out of the air by the Storm netminder.
Kevin Henderson powered his way into the Storm zone down the left wing before teeing up Luke Pither, the popular Panthers' forward finding Ginn on top of his game as he held onto the puck. Birthday boy Josh Tetlow hit the bar, much to the chagrin of the Panthers Nation inside the Motorpoint Arena, before Manchester tested Munson for the first time in the game. The Panthers' netminder equal to the task as he spread himself along the ice to make a brilliant save with hia left pad.
Nottingham killed a penalty to Tim Billingsley (17.50) as the period ended and the sides went into the first intermission tied at zero.
An early second period powerplay (21.29) gave the Panthers a chance to take the lead but Ginn was once again determined to play spoiler, the Storm netminder somehow managing to locate a Kevin Henderson deflection between his legs and hold on for a face-off before the away side returned to full strength.
Shortly after Jaynen Rissling saw his one-timer from the slot deflected out of play Manchester took the lead. Ciaran Long showing tremendous patience to round his defenceman and Patrick Munson before depositing the puck into the Panthers' goal.
Luke Pither almost gave the Panthers an instant reply. Jon Rheault stripping a Storm defenceman as he forechecked hard in to the corner and fed Luke Pither in the high slot, Matt Ginn once again proving obdurate in goal as he blockered the one-timer up and out of play.
The Panthers went onto the powerplay when Alex Bolduc drew tripping penalty (32.39) and Chris Stewart almost opened his Panthers' account but his one-timer was spectacularly saved by Ginn with his glove hand just prior to the Storm returning to full strength.
Manchester got a powerplay of their own when Tommy Hughes was called for hooking (39.23) inside the final minute of the period. They couldn't take advantage of their truncated powerplay, however, and the period ended with the visitors leading by one.
Nottingham killed the penalty to Hughes to start the third and then Dylan Olsen delivered a huge hit along the boards as the Panthers looked to build momentum and comeback into the game. Ciaran Long was called for delay of game (47.01) to send the Panthers to the powerplay and Justin Kovacs' picture perfect cross ice feed found the tape of Mark Hurtubise, only for his stick to snap on the one-time effort.
The Panthers' powerplay was cut short when Luke Pither was assessed a two plus two (48.37) for holding the stick and unsportsmanlike conduct and Manchester doubled their lead after returning to full strength. Dallas Erhardt firing through traffic and past Munson (49.40) to make it 0-2.
Try as they might the Panthers couldn't find a way past Ginn in the Storm goal, and with Munson pulled in favour of the extra attacker the visitors tripled their lead through Erhardt (59.40), and his team skated out of the Motorpoint Arena with the two points after a shutout victory.