Great team effort results in win over Coventry in Cup

The GMB Nottingham Panthers deservedly ended their round-robin section in the Challenge Cup with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Coventry Blaze who needed to win to stay in the competition.

Panthers came out flying from the first face-off and took the lead on a powerplay when Jeff Brown converted a rebound after four minutes.

Brian McGrattan and Klotz dropped the gloves at 13.01 and with both players throwing some big punches it was Big Ern who landed a clutch of huge bombs. Both players needed treatment afterwards, victor McGrattan after he was cut by his own visor.

Panthers continued to apply pressure in the second and with the face-off men dominating the draws Nottingham had most of the possession and during four-on-four action a precision pass from Matt Carter sent Alex Nikiforuk away one-o n-one with visiting keeper Stewart and the Panthers’ forward buried his chance at 25.52.

Panthers’ penalty kill unit was in great form, helped by the fans’ confidence boosting support throughout several calls against the home team. With nine minutes to go defenceman Noble jumped Nottingham youngster Ollie Betteridge but Alex Nikiforuk belied his lack of inches to step in and hand out a lesson in manners.

There was still more drama to come with Blaze pulling their keeper with 106 seconds left. They had to send him back in when they took a penalty to spoil a Panthers’ opportunity to shoot on the empty net, before pulling him again and eventually breaking Henry Pacl’s shut-out with five seconds left on the clock.

But the victory was deservedly his, and his team mates.

Pics: Karl Denham

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