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Sun 8 Jan 2023 - 8:38PM

MATCH REPORT: FLAMES 5-4 PANTHERS

MATCH REPORT: FLAMES 5-4 PANTHERS Top Image

The Nottingham Panthers staged a late fightback but were beaten 5-4 on-the-road at Guildford Flames in the Viaplay Elite League on Sunday night.

Alex Dubeau started between the pipes and Craig Puffer returned from a one-match suspension, while Duggie Lagrone remained out of action because of injury.

End-to-end action in scoreless first period
There were chances for both sides within the first 30 seconds as Tanner Sorenson went close for the Panthers, while Dubeau saved from Peter Crinella.

Dubeau also made excellent stops to deny Robert Lachowicz, Ryan Tait, Daniel Tedesco and Logan Fredericks, while Panthers finished the period strong and David Levin set-up Brett Welychka who shot just wide.

Myers on target for Panthers but Flames lead
The game burst into life with two goals in 24 seconds as first Matthew Myers put away a rebound after good work from Levin (22:21), before Crinella reacted first to a loose puck for Guildford's equaliser (22:45).

The hosts when ahead on the powerplay when a feed from behind the net set-up Tait to bury the puck past Dubeau on the doorstep (29:28).

Jeremy Welsh hit the post on a second-period powerplay as Panthers looked to tie the game up.

Panthers stage late comeback but Flames secure two points
Tedesco fed Brett Ferguson who went top shelf off the bar for Guildford's third (41:49) and two former Panthers combined for the home side's fourth.

Owen Griffiths burst down the left wing and his feed found Lachowicz for a superb wrist-shot finish (47:11), before Panthers hit back on the powerplay as Levin and Mike Hammond worked the puck well to find Welychka who went top-shelf short-side (49:02).

The goals kept on coming and Sam Marklund's wraparound gave the Flames a commanding 5-2 lead (55:40).

Levin and Myers combined for Welychka's second of the night 20 seconds later (56:00) and it was a one-goal game within 38 seconds as Sorenson redirected a shot from Kelly Summers (56:38).

Welychka was denied his hat-trick by the right-hand post in the closing stages as Guildford hung-on for the two points.

Double-header in Belfast next for Panthers
Panthers return to action next weekend with back-to-back matches on Friday and Saturday on-the-road at Belfast Giants.

A third roadtrip in succession sees Panthers go to Glasgow Clan on Friday 20th January, before returning home to host Belfast at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 21st January (7pm face-off).

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