DEVILS DEFEAT PANTHERS 6-2 IN FRONT OF ANOTHER SELL-OUT CROWD AT ICE ARENA WALES
After Saturday night’s 4-0 loss in Sheffield, the Devils bounced back with an impressive win over the Panthers led by a hat-trick performance from Jake Morissette.
The Devils captain led from the front on a weekend when the Devils were missing 4 key players, scoring 3 times and setting up linemate Paul Crowder for another.
It was Morissette who opened the scoring just over 5 minutes into the game when he got the last shot off a rebound to beat Michael Garnett in the Nottingham goal at 5:30 with Andrew Lord and Paul Crowder assisting on the play. The Devils and Panthers traded powerplay chances in the first period but neither team could score, so the period ended with the Devils holding onto a 1-0 lead.
The middle period saw the Devils take control, scoring 3 times in a 4-minute span. First Joey Martin put the Devils up 2-0 at 34:22, then at 35:38 the Devils scored the strangest goal of the season.
With Paul Crowder pressuring a Nottingham defender along the boards, the Panther tried to ring the puck around the boards as he was falling to his knees and actually shot it at his own goal and somehow the puck snuck through Garnett to give the Devils a 3-0 lead. Jake Morissette was the last Devil to touch the puck, so he was credited with the unassisted goal.
Some great forechecking by Andrew Lord and Morissette eventually led to Crowder scoring at 38:30 with his two linemates picking up the assists, making it 4-0 for the Devils at 38:30.
The Panthers almost immediately pulled one back at 39:02 when Erik Lindhagen broke the shutout attempt for Bowns, making it 4-1 for the Devils after 40 minutes of play. Into the third period, and it was Morissette again who put the Devils up 5-1 after a perfect cross ice pass from Andrew Hotham on the powerplay at 53:06.
The next shift and only 20 seconds later, Josh Batch scored to make it 6-1 for the Devils. The Devils then got into some penalty trouble with 3 calls on them in the final 7 minutes of the game. The Panthers scored on the powerplay at 56:52 from Raphael Bussieres to make it 6-2, which is how the game finished.
The Devils powerplay was 1 for 4 on the night, while the Panthers were 1 for 5 with the man advantage. Bowns stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced for the win and Morissette picked up the Man of the Match with 3 goals and 1 assist.
Photo: Richard Murray