Panthers v Clan
The Nottingham Panthers
2 - 4
THE NOTTINGHAM Panthers returned to action on home-ice for the first time in 27 days on Saturday night when they took on the Glasgow Clan in Elite League action.
Kevin Carr got the start in goal for the Panthers, who were without the services of Alexis Loiseau, opposite Patrick Killeen for the Clan.
The Panthers went to an early powerplay when Killeen, who took exception to GB prospect Joe Hazeldine at the top of his crease, took a roughing penalty (3.18) but it was the Clan who took the lead when Rasmus Bjerrum’s dump-in took a wicked bounce past Carr (3.52) to make it 0-1.
Clan returned to full strength but quickly found themselves a man down again when Mathieu Roy (7.18) was called for slashing. The visitors penalty killers once again stood firm though and there was no clear route to Killeen’s goal for the home side and the man advantage went by the wayside.
The Panthers didn’t waste their third powerplay opportunity. Matt Haywood (14.25) was called for hooking after a prolonged period of Panthers pressure and Brett Perlini (16.00) was on hand to hack-and-whack at a rebound caused by Sam Herr and he jammed the puck by Killeen to tie the game at one.
As the period drew to a close Gui Lepine dropped the gloves with Linden Springer and a big right hand by the Panthers’ defenceman dropped the Clan man to a raucous reception inside the Motorpoint Arena.
Lepine also picked up a slashing penalty (19.03) in the melee but the Panthers killed the 57 seconds of powerplay time for the Clan in the period and the teams went into the first intermission tied at one apiece.
Not only did the Panthers kill the penalty to begin the second period but they took the lead short-handed. Sam Herr intercepted a pass and he sprang GB international Ollie Betteridge (20.48) who ripped a shot over the blocker of Killeen to bring the Panthers’ fans to their feet.
The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead when Springer (27.58) was sent to the penalty box. Despite spending the majority of the two minutes in the Clan zone the home side couldn’t find a way through and the visitors returned to full strength.
Glasgow blocked a shot on the blue line and broke in on-on-one with Carr but the Panthers’ netminder made a great save with his right pad to keep his team in the lead.
It was then the turn of Killeen to keep his team in the game. Sam Herr linked up with Dylan Malmquist and his picture-perfect feed found the stick of Jon Rheault only for him to be denied on the doorstep by the Clan netminder.
As the period wore on the Clan started to enjoy some more time in the Panthers zone and Carr had to come up large once again, denying the visitors not once but twice on the doorstep.
On the resulting face-off, however, Matt Pufhal’s quick shot from the blue line through a screen found the back of the net and the teams were tied at two after two periods of play.
The Panthers killed off the Clan powerplay to start the third period before Kevin Carr came up huge, the Panthers’ netminder standing tall to deny Matt Haywood at the top of crease.
Adam Deutsch then caught a Clansman with his head down, delivering a big hit on the blue line just prior to Danny Fick drawing a hooking penalty (46.49).
Once again the Panthers came up against a Clan penalty kill unit that was less than generous, blocking the shooting lanes and keeping the home side to the perimeter as they returned to full strength.
Chad Rau (55.47) gave the Clan a late lead when he applied the finishing touch to a sweeping move up the ice by the visitors.
Glasgow extended their lead on a late powerplay (57.21) when Mathieu Roy’s one-timer from the slot (58.05) found the back of the net and the visitors took the first game of the double header.