Gothiques v Panthers
2 - 4
The Nottingham Panthers
THE NOTTINGHAM Panthers began their 2019-20 Continental Cup campaign on Friday afternoon when they took on the Ligue Magnus side Gothiques d'Amiens in the first game of Group E's third round.
Jon Rheault almost gave the Panthers the lead but his deflection went just wide of Buysse's goal before Kevin Carr, getting the start in goal for the EIHL side, made a good save as he kicked out his pad to turnaside a shot fired through a crowd.
Nottingham did get the early lead they wanted before the five minute mark. An aggressive defensive play by Gui Lepine saw the puck head up ice where Sam Herr and Jake Hansen (4.06) combined, the former feeding the latter who one-timed his shot into the back of the net, to make it a one-goal game.
The lead didn't last long, Romain Bault (4.36) restoring parity for the side from France with his quick shot from the slot.
Carr had to make two big saves to keep the game tied before Brian Connelly delivered a tremendous hit along the boards, sending his man to the ice with a tremendously timed hip-check.
Mark Matheson came close to putting the Panthers back into the lead with a slapshot from the slot but Amiens' netminder Bussye was equal to it and the game remained tied.
Nottingham pressed for another goal as the period wore on as Connelly and Matheson came close only to be turned aside by French national and the teams went into the first intermission tied at one.
Adam Deutsch powered to the net forcing an icing before Fick and Hansen forced Bussye into good saves as the Panthers dominated the opening stages of the second period.
That dominance paid off when Ollie Betteridge drew a powerplay opportunity (27.50), after a stripping a defenceman of the puck who then had no choice but to trip him up and prevent a shot on goal, and Jake Hansen (28.33) scored the Panthers, and his, second of the name, when he beat Buysse on the short-side over the glove.
Nottingham had to kill a penalty to Brett Perlini (29.33) but when they did they wasted no time in padding their lead. Jullian Talbot created a turnover in the Amiens' defensive zone and William Quist (32.18) showed off his hands as he sat the netminder down and roofed the puck to make it 3-1.
Buysse had to be at his best once again to deny Herr, after the Panthers' captain broke in two-on-one with Hansen, and keep his team in the game the Panthers went into the second period break with a two goal lead.
William Quist broke in behind the Amiens' defence early in the third and whislt his effort was saved he was tripped after getting his shot away (41.19) and the Panthers went to the powerplay. Just as Amiens returned to full strength Captain Sam Herr (43.21) scored his first Continental Cup goal when he deflected Jake Hansen's pass beyond Bussye and into the back of the net to make it 4-1.
Amiens then went to a powerplay of their own but were kept out by Carr, the Panthers' netminder denying the dangerous Romand with his left pad before showing quick reflexes to get his pad to the rebound shot, and Nottingham returned to full strength.
The French side pulled a goal back through Tommy Giroux (52.45) when the puck found it's way to him all alone at the back door and he buried it with a quick shot.
There was to be no comeback though and The Nottingham Panthers took the regulation win to open their 2019-20 Continental Cup campaign.