Panthers v Steelers
The Nottingham Panthers
1 - 3
GB international Jackson Whistle got the start in goal for the Panthers opposite experienced Czech Tomas Duba for the Steelers on Saturday night in Nottingham.
Newly appointed Captain of THE NOTTINGHAM Panthers Sam Herr saw his shot from the slot rattle off the mask of Duba as the home side pressed for an early lead.
Nottingham killed the first Steelers’ powerplay of the game (5.14) before Whistle was forced into making a huge save. The puck took an awkward bounce from behind the goal and ended up in the slot only for the Panthers’ netminder to come out to the top his crease and keep the game tied at zero.
Herr once again caused mischief around Duba’s goal but it was the Steelers who took the lead. On their second powerplay of the game (10.20) Nikolai Lemtyugov’s slapshot through traffic found it’s way into the back of the net to bring the visiting fans to their feet.
Just as the period was ending Sheffield were called for slashing (19.39) and the Panthers went into the first intermission with 1.39 remaining on the powerplay to begin period two.
The Panthers had a golden chance to tie the game when Ben O’Connor (20.45) was sent to the box for delaying the game but the home side couldn’t make the opportunity count and the Steelers returned to full strength.
Brian Connelly saw his slapshot gloved down by Duba and on the resulting face-off the Steelers doubled their lead. Breaking up ice the puck made it’s way to Jonathan Phillips (26.00) and he made no mistake slotting the puck into a half empty cage.
Two more powerplays came and went for the Panthers before the game turned feisty. Brett Bulmer was called for roughing (35.15) after having his stick ripped from his hands and on the resulting face-off Brendan Connelly was assessed two minutes for roughing and two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct after jumping on the back of Ollie Betteridge.
Georgs Golovkovs went close during the period of four-on-four before Deutsch, Rheault and Herr all troubled Duba without finding a way to break his resistance on the powerplay.
With just four seconds remaining in the period Robert Down extended the visitors lead to three and they went into the second intermission with a commanding lead.
Sam Herr and Jens Jakobs forced Duba into two good saves to begin the third period before the Steelers killed another Panthers’ powerplay.
With both teams at full strength Sam Herr found Ollie Betteridge and he got the Panthers on the board, turning and firing past Duba with a wicked wrist-shot (49.51) to make it a two goal game.
Just over a minute later Brian Connelly was hauled down in front of goal and awarded a penalty shot, his quick release didn’t fool Duba though as the Steelers’ netminder made the save.
Jackson Whistle was forced into a miraculous pad save with the Steelers on the powerplay (51.59) just as the home side returned to full strength.
Despite a lot of huff and puff there was to be no comeback by the Panthers and the Steelers skated out of the Motorpoint Arena with the two Challenge Cup points on offer.