Giants v Panthers
3 - 0
The Nottingham Panthers
Kevin Carr turned aside 48 shots in a man of the match performance for THE NOTTINGHAM Panthers but it was the Giants who skated away with the points on Sunday evening.
Carr had to be alert early in the first period as he stood square to the shooter to deny the Giants after the broke in two-on-one.
Danny Fick has the Panthers’ first chance of note but despite being left all alone in the slot the defenceman couldn’t get his shot through to Owen and it was blocked away to safety.
The home side took the lead on an early powerplay opportunity (8.31) when a deflection off of a Panthers’ defenceman found it’s way past Carr (9.13).
The Panthers went to a powerplay chance of their own (9.34) but despite Mark Matheson forcing Owen into a good glove save the visitors couldn’t find a route to the Giants’ goal and they returned to full strength.
Carr was wise to Giant’s tip in the high slot on the home side’s next man advantage before testimonial man Robert Lachowicz threw himself in front of a shot to prevent the puck from making it’s way though to the Panthers’ netminder.
The Panthers returned to full strength and DeSantis combined nicely with Perlini but Owen shut the door on the latter’s effort and the first period ended with the hosts leading 1-0.
Jon Rheault tested Owen early in the second period, after Golovkovs drew a holding penalty (22.50), but once again the Panthers’ powerplay unit came up empty.
Carr was almost caught out by a crazy bounce off the boards but he recovered in time to get across his crease and deny a Giant looking at a half empty cage,
Mark Matheson hit the post with a slapshot from the blue line before Golovkovs drew another powerplay (32.36) where Owen made a fabulous save, going east-to-west to deny DeSantis at the backdoor who was on the end of a wonderful cross-ice pass by Golovkovs.
With nine seconds remaining in the period the Giants’ Brian Ward received a five and game penalty for tripping and the Panthers had a route back into the game.
That route was slammed shut early in the third period as three minor penalties to the visitors washed out the man advantage but Kevin Carr made a miraculous paddle save diving across his crease, with the Giants skating on a four-on-three powerplay, to ensure the deficit for the Panthers was still only one goal when both sides returned to full strength.
The Giants doubled their lead after the Panthers once again failed to convert on another powerplay, Liam Morgan (54.14) scoring in close.
There was still time for Dylan Malmquist to force Owen into two smart stops but, with Carr pulled in favour of the extra attacker, Curtis Hamilton (59.23) scored into the empty net to seal the game for the Belfast Giants.