GMB Panthers beat Sheffield 4-3 in pulsating cup encounter

In a pulsating Challenge Cup game the GMB Panthers gained quick-fire revenge over arch-rivals Sheffield and took both points in regulation with a 4-3 victory in front of a packed crowd at home on Saturday night.

New arrival Brian McGrattan made his debut and set the tone with a big hit on his first shift. As Panthers enjoyed far more room than a week earlier in Yorkshire, Chris Lawrence stole the puck beyond the goal line and fed David Clarke in front to open the scoring at 9.31.
A long range powerplay strike leveled for the visitors 90 seconds later and the teams were tied at 1-1 after the first period.

Panthers opened up a two goal lead in the second period. First Dan Spang leapt high in the air to bat down a lobbed clearance and he fed Earthing Services' man of the match Alex Nikiforuk in between the circles in front of goal to pick his spot and then super patient play by Stephen Schultz on his return from injury saw him bide his time and wait until Jeff Dimmen got forward to the back post where he popped home the precision pass.

A ricochet after a save bounced in for Sheffield off a Panthers' back but Chris Lawrence slipped home on a breakaway one-on-one to restore the two goal cushion only for Sheffield to do the same and the score was 4-3 after forty minutes of action.

A goalless third period ensued and sound fore-checking by Nottingham meant Steelers couldn't get their goalie off for an extra skater until there were just 13 seconds left on the clock and Panthers saw it home.

Pics: Karl Denham

4 - 3
Shots on Goal
32
Shots on Goal
37
Goals by Period
1,3,0
Goals by Period
1,2,0
Powerplays
0/3
Powerplays
1/5