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Sat 30 Dec 2023 - 9:35PM



The Nottingham Panthers take a point on-the-road but were beaten 4-3 by Coventry Blaze after penalty shots.

Joe Hazeldine and Westin Michaud both returned from injury, but Panthers were still without Josh Tetlow, Ollie Betteridge and Austin Farley. Rok Stojanovic started between the pipes with Mike Robinson as back-up.

End-to-end first period but no goals
An end-to-end first period saw Stephen Anderson and Simon Després have chances for the Panthers, before Didrik Henbrant's shot came back off the pipes.

At the other end, Stojanovic made two superb close-range saves from JD Dudek while Alessio Luciani hit the underside of the bar.

Powerplay goals for Nieminen and Lemay in second period
Blaze took the lead when Kobe Roth tipped-in a shot by David Clements (21:47), but Panthers hit back quickly on the powerplay as Otto Nieminen turned-in a superb feed from the right by Hugo Roy (26:14).

After hitting the bar and seeing his shot cleared off the line when it fell behind Taran Kozum, Mathieu Lemay fired Panthers into the lead on the powerplay with a one-timer from the left-circle from a feed by Carl Neill (37:42).

Lemay scores his second but Blaze hit back
Lemay skated into the offensive zome and fired a neat wrist-shot over Kozun's glove to stretch Nottingham's lead for his second of the night (49:07), before former Panther Brady Norrish shot low past Stojanovic on the powerplay from the left-circle (51:26).

Danny Kristo beat his man on the boards and cut inside from the right to shoot low past Stojanovic for Coventry's equaliser (55:24) and to send the game to overtime.

Blaze take the extra point with shootout win
There were chances at both ends in overtime with Lemay going close to a hat-trick as he hit the bar, while Stojanovic pulled off a wonder save to deny Roth on a two-on-one break.

Alexander Lunsjö gave Panthers an early lead in the shootout but successful attempts from Ian McNulty and Luciani ensured Coventry took the extra point.

Part two of double-header in Nottingham tomorrow
The two sides meet again tomorrow in Nottingham. The game is nearly sold-out but there's a small amount of single seats in the bowl which can be purchased by clicking here.

There are also some sightline seats in pairs or higher which can be purchased from the Box Office which opens on Bolero Square at 12noon today. These still offer great views of the ice but with a minor obstruction.