Panthers aim for revenge on Saturday after 7-5 loss in Yorkshire

The GMB Nottingham Panthers are aiming for quick-fire Challenge Cup revenge after going down 7-5 at arch-rivals Sheffield on Sunday night.

The game was tied at 4-4 early in the third period but the home side built a commanding three goal cushion before Nottingham grabbed one back for a tense finish which Steelers saw out despite Panthers' bid to salvage something from the game with the six skater ploy.

Henry Pacl started in nets for Panthers who jumped to a two goal lead with strikes from Ollie Betteridge and Alex Nikiforuk by the 3.50 mark. Steelers got on the board on the powerplay and added an equaliser just seven seconds later with a long range effort and the sides ended the first period tied at 2-2.

A bouncing bomb deflected home for Steelers just before the half-way mark and as the play swung from one end of the ice to the other they stretched their lead at 36 minutes exactly. On a late middle period powerplay Nikiforuk circled in the left circle before firing a wrist-shot into the far top corner and Panthers trailed by one going into the second break before equalising from between the hash marks when Erik Lindhagen stole through the middle channel at 43.23.

Three goals in less than two-and-a-half minutes took the game out of reach though and the home side's seventh goal, which came off a rebound, saw Pacl pulled after being injured making the initial save. Miika Wiikman took over in goal for Panthers and at the other end a feed from Robert Lachowicz to the crease saw Betteridge drive the net and fire home his second of the night for a 7-5 scoreline, which was the way it finished. Tensions spilled over with five minute fighting penalties for Lawrence of Nottingham and Desbiens of Sheffield in the 56th minute and both sides took their time-outs during the closing two minutes after Wiikman was pulled in favour of a sixth Panthers' skater.

Pics: RICHARD MURRAY

7 - 5
Shots on Goal
43
Shots on Goal
29
Goals by Period
2,2,3
Goals by Period
2,1,2
Powerplays
1/4
Powerplays
1/3