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Wed 4 Jan 2023 - 9:32PM



The Nottingham Panthers are out of the Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage following a 5-2 loss at Belfast Giants for a 7-5 defeat on aggregate.

Panthers raced into a two-goal lead but the Giants roared back, scoring five unanswered goals to win the tie.

Alex Dubeau was given the start in goal but defenceman Duggie Lagrone and Craig Moore missed out because of injury.

Nottingham extend aggregate lead after dramatic first period
Panthers had a succession of powerplays and took the lead moments after one of them had come to an end, as Luke Ferrara's pass from behind the net found Tanner Sorenson to score from close range (10:35)

Goal two arrived on the man advantage just 82 seconds later when Adam Brady tipped in Mike Hammond's shot from the right circle (11:57).

Giants ended the period strong - aided by a five-minute powerplay after Craig Puffer was thrown out for checking-to-the-head - and closed the gap through Scott Conway's rebound (18:12).

Giants score three times to turn game on its head
Whistle made a huge save to deny Hammond on a breakaway 30 seconds after the first intermission, before Giants reduced the aggregate deficit and equalised on the night as Ciaran Long drove the net on a two-on-on break (30:44).

Belfast then took the lead on aggregate as a swift break down the ice saw Conway's shot tipped in by David Goodwin (34:44) and Lewis Hook put away his own rebound just under two minutes later (36:25).

Dubeau made an outstanding pad save to deny Hook on a short-handed breakaway with just seconds left in the period.

Belfast seal semi-final place
​Panthers pushed hard for an aggregate equaliser with Hammond, Sorenson and David Levin having chances, but Whistle was equal to all of them.

The Giants made the game safe when an outstanding saucer pass from Will Cullen found David Gilbert at the backdoor to slot in their fifth of the night (55:03).

Nottingham lifted Dubeau for the extra skater and despite some late pressure, they could not find a way past Whistle.

Guildford at home on Saturday
Panthers return to action on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena as Guildford Flames are the visitors in the Viaplay Elite League.

After back-to-back sell-outs against Sheffield Steelers and Coventry Blaze during the festive period, another large crowd is expected this weekend so you are advised to purchase tickets as soon as possible.

It's our special Superhero Night so why not join in the fun and come dressed as your favourite superhero.

Click here to buy tickets for Panthers against Guildford.