GMB Panthers beat top of the table Cardiff 7-4

GMB Nottingham Panthers turned in a strong performance to beat top of the table Cardiff at home on Tuesday night. Final score 7-4.

The match had a wild west ending with the visitors pulling their goalie early to go with six skaters and twice scoring only for Panthers to answer each time with an empty-net goal.

The visitors took the lead in the sixth minute when a clearance ricocheted off a leg pad and back in behind the defence with Miika Wiikman denying the first attempt only for the rebound to get turned in.

Nottingham’s equaliser came after some slick passing was followed by a sharp finish with Alex Nikiforuk ramming home and he turned provider when he got a piece of a Devils clearance from behind their net to send the puck to the middle channel where Matt Carter took a couple of strides forward before rifling the puck into the top corner in the 13th minute.

Brian McGrattan got on the scoresheet with a tip in from Andy Sertich’s blueline shot at 24.55 for a 3-1 margin.

Nikiforuk drove in off the right wing, with Chris Lawrence providing a decoy raid on the front of net, and he nailed the top corner for his second goal at 27.16 which saw off Ben Bowns in the Devils’ net but on a powerplay Lawrence batted home past replacement Tom Murdy just past the half-way mark for a 5-1 lead.

Devils turned in their second from a pass across the face of goal from right point but Panthers held a three goal lead into the final period.

There was no more scoring until the visitors pulled Murdy with over five minutes to go and the six skater ploy worked with a tap in goal at 55.22 but Stephen Schultz caught an attempted clearance at left point and spun round to fire into the empty net to restore the cushion a minute later.

Murdy was pulled on the fly again and Devils fired one home through traffic but Nottingham again replied on the empty-net when Lawrence fed Robert Farmer on the left wing with just over two minutes left in the game.

Pics: Karl Denham

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Shots on Goal
Shots on Goal
Goals by Period
Goals by Period