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Fri 13 Jan 2023 - 9:20PM



The Nottingham Panthers were beaten 5-2 on-the-road by Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena in the Viaplay Elite League on Friday night.

Alex Dubeau started between the pipes with Nottingham Lions netminder Matty Bloor serving as back-up.

Panthers were missing injured blueliner Duggie Lagrone, while netminder Jack Berry and defenceman Archie Hazeldine were the healthy scratches.

Giants score five in first period
Belfast went ahead when Sean Norris tipped-in David Gilbert's shot (4:39) before Dubeau produced an outstanding save, flicking his pad above him to stop a close-range shot.

Gabe Bast converted on his backhand through traffic after a face-off win by Scott Conway (6:25), who then sent a perfect feed from left to right on the powerplay to set-up Ben Lake to convert with a wrist-shot (10:45).

Panthers hit back within 31 seconds as Fabrizio Ricci redirected Kelly Summers' shot (11:16), but Belfast scored their fourth when Lake fed Lewis Hook to score through the five-hole (13:35).

Sam Ruopp scored through traffic (15:56) which saw Dubeau replaced by 18-year-old Matty Bloor, who immediately made two huge pad saves to deny Belfast a sixth.

Big saves from Dubeau in second period
Dubeau came out to start the second period and made two big saves to stop Hook while at the other end, Jackson Whistle denied Brett Welychka from close range.

Belfast continued to pile on the pressure and Dubeau had to be at his best to deny Gilbert on the doorstep, as well as Steven Owre's long-range shot.

Kelsall scores in third period but Giants secure two points
Whistle made a fantastic glove save to stop Jeremy Welsh from close range on the powerplay, while Jack Hopkins also went close.

Corey Neilson lifted Dubeau for the extra skater when on a third-period powerplay to go six-on-four, but Panthers failed to find a way past Whistle.

Panthers scored a late consolation goal when Jordan Kelsall poked the puck past Whistle after a goalmouth scramble (57:56).

The two sides meet again tomorrow night for part two of the double-header. Face-off at the SSE Arena is 7pm.