Panthers v Devils
The Nottingham Panthers
3 - 5
THE NOTTINGHAM Panthers and Cardiff Devils clashed for the second time in less than 48 hours on Sunday afternoon but this time it was inside Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena.
The home side got off to the perfect start when Mark Matheson’s shot (3.14) eluded Bowns and found the back of the Devils’ goal.
Any euphoria was short-lived, however, as Blair Riley (3.25) tied the game back up just eleven seconds later.
Netminder Kevin Carr, starting opposite GB international Ben Bowns, had to be alert to deny Stephen Dixon, Joey Martin and Blair Riley in quick succession as the period approached the half way stage.
Brian Connelly & Joey Martin were both sent to the box for matching roughing penalties (18.33) and, with the teams skating four-on-four, Jason DeSantis almost caught out Bowns but his quick shot from the right wing face-off circle flashed just wide and the teams went into the first intermission tied.
Georgs Golovkovs (22.40) struck early in the second period for the Panthers, the Latvian converting Jake Hansen’s slick feed after the man making his debut showed tremendous speed to break-in down the right wing.
Things got even better when Sam Herr (29.38) dangled through a crowd and drew a tripping penalty and less than a minute into the resulting powerplay William Quist (30.21) gave the Panthers it a two-goal cushion. The giant Swede hammering a one-timer through the five-hole of Bowns after a perfect cross-ice feed from Golovkovs.
Shortly after the goal the Devils went to a powerplay of their own (30.59) and a speculative effort from the blue line somehow found it’s way into the back of the Panthers’ net, taking numerous ricochets on the way through the puck eventually hit Matthew Myers (31.05) and crossed the line.
Just 19 seconds later Cardiff tied the game. Joey Martin’s shot from the right wing ended up in the slot and Masi Marjamaki (31.24) fired into a half empty net with Carr stranded.
Sam Herr (38.01) drew another powerplay as he again dangled through a crowd but the Panthers couldn’t find a way through and the teams went into the third period level with the score at 3-3.
The Devils returned to full strength to begin a cagey third period.
Neither side could break the other down until Jason DeSantis snuck in from the blue line undetected only for his effort at the back door to be shut down by Bowns.
Brian Connelly and Jake Hansen both went close, brining the Motorpoint Arena to life, only for the Panthers’ spell of dominance to be nullified by the tightest of offside calls.
Cardiff took their first lead of the night when Matt Pope (50.38) saw his shot find nothing but twine and the Devils struck again less than a minute later, Joey Haddad (51.28) bringing the visiting fans to their feet.
With no further scoring in the game the Devils took the two Elite League points on offer back to South Wales.