High drama as Panthers beat Belfast in a penalty shoot-out on Friday

There was theatre and drama in abundance as the GMB Nottingham Panthers snapped their league losing run with an exciting penalty-shoot-out victory over the visiting Belfast Giants on Friday night (3-2).

With Stephen Schultz back in the line-up after his lengthy absence which dated back to the beginning of last month, alongside other returnees from the treatment room, Panthers took the game to the visitors and peppered their goal with several chances until Alex Nikiforuk drove the left wing and fed Jeff Brown in the middle channel from where he buried the opening goal in the third minute.

Giants equalised in the 13th minute when Shields had time to back-pedal from the crease and make room to hoick home their nfirst goal but Nottingham regained the lead when Ollie Betteridge got the last touch in a mad scramble around the Giants' net late in the period.

There were no goals in the middle period and in the third Riley equalized when he was left all alone in front at 45.27.

With the game heading for overtime Panthers believed they'd scored what could have been a winner with 4.14 on the clock but the referee ruled it out for having been deliberately kicked over the line. |Panthers had two more close shaves to take the game in regulation time but after sixty minutes the score was still locked at 2-2.

Both sides had powerplays in sudden-death overtime and Nottingham went closest to scoring but the match was to be decided in a shoot-out where Miika Wiikman came up big making two saves and forcing a miss while Matt Carter slipped home the winner at the other end.

Pics: Karl Denham

3 - 2
Shots on Goal
31
Shots on Goal
32
Goals by Period
2,0,0
Goals by Period
1,0,1
Powerplays
0/6
Powerplays
0/5