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Fri 7 Apr 2023 - 3:41PM

PLAYOFF MEMORIES: PANTHERS BEAT STEELERS IN 2007 THRILLER

PLAYOFF MEMORIES: PANTHERS BEAT STEELERS IN 2007 THRILLER Top Image

SATURDAY: PLAYOFF QUARTER-FINAL 1ST LEG - PANTHERS v FLAMES (7PM)
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It's playoff quarter-final eve as The Nottingham Panthers go through their final preparations ahead of this weekend's two-legged tie with Guildford Flames.

The first leg takes place at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham tomorrow night (7pm) before part two at The Spectrum in Guildford on Sunday (6pm).

One of the most memorable quarter-final victories in the Elite League era was the 6-5 victory aggregate victory over Sheffield Steelers in 2007 under the leadership of Head Coach Mike Ellis.

The tie was so dramatic with the two teams only separated on penalty shots and the hero of the hour was Slovakian netminder Rastaslav Rovnianek.

The first leg took place in Nottingham and Corey Neilson gave Panthers the lead before Jonathan Phillips equalised. Matus Petricko made it 2-1 to the Panthers, but Sheffield hit back again through former Panther Dan Tessier.

Jan Krajieck and Sean McAslan scored powerplay goals just over three minutes apart to secure Nottingham a 4-2 first-leg victory, but that wasn't the end of the drama as tempers flared in the closing stages.

Both benches got involved and it included Sheffield's Regan Darby - who was out injured for the game - coming down from the suites in the arena and trading punches with Panthers' Ryan Shmyr from the photography pit.

In the second leg in Sheffield, the Steelers closed the aggregate deficit to one thanks to Vezio Sacratini's eighth-minute goal, before Panthers hit back through McAslan.

Goals from Ryan Finnerty and Tessier tied the aggregate score up at 5-5 and after no goals in overtime, the two big rivals went to a shootout to decide who progressed to the Final Four.

Rovnianek saved Sheffield's two attempts, while Neilson and McAslan scored for the Panthers to book a place at finals weekend.

History shows that Panthers won the semi-final against Belfast and final against Cardiff on penalty shots, with Rovnianek not beaten in either shootout.

Can your nerves cope with such tension this weekend? Make sure you're part of the action for the biggest two games of the season so far.

Tickets are still on sale for Panthers against Guildford tomorrow and can be purchased here.