Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers meet again in Friday’s big game with Panthers looking to build on their result against Manchester Storm earlier in the week.
Aaron Fox’s side will make life difficult for them considering the run of form they’ve been on and with two wins from two against Nottingham, they will be fancied to take the points again.
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03 Apr 21: Panthers 2 Steelers 3
10 Apr 21: Steelers 8 Panthers 4
📊 WHO WILL WIN? 📊
— British Ice Hockey 🏒 (@BritIceHockey) April 16, 2021
NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 4 SHEFFIELD STEELERS 3
A first period blitz from Nottingham Panthers put Sheffield Steelers on the back foot, but it proved to be enough as Tim Wallace’s men took victory against their big rivals.
If the previous two games were to serve as any kind of script, Panthers didn’t read it as they surged into a four-goal first period lead.
The contest was only three minutes old when Brett Perlini sent a low shot through the legs of Ben Churchfield after being set up by Christophe Boivin, setting the tone for the rest of the period.
By the nine minute mark, Nottingham were two ahead, striking on the break after Ben Bowns denied Liam Kirk, triggering a push up the other end.
This time it was Perlini providing for Boivin to leave the Steelers stunned, but Wallace’s side were in something of a relentless mood.
Needless to say, it wasn’t long before a third was on the board as Ollie Betteridge played in Mark Matheson with a quick pass at the back door and Churchfield was beaten again.
Steelers’ goalie was switched for young Curtis Warburton and he had to make a couple of early saves.
However he could do nothing about Boivin’s second of the night as he lashed one in at the top shelf and by the end of the period, Panthers had streaked into a four-goal lead.
Fox’s men were more settled in the second period and caused more problems for Bowns, but only had one goal to show for their efforts.
It was Jason Hewitt with the goal three minutes from the end of the period, finishing off a rebound after Dowd’s shot was initially saved by the Panthers goalie.
They got a second with an excellent solo effort from Josef Mikyska, who took the puck down the right and eventually forced it in at the near post, finding a gap and Panthers’ early lead suddenly didn’t look so secure.
With a minute and a half to go, it really got interesting when Kevin Schulze’s pass across the blue line found Liam Kirk, who blasted home as Steelers got to within one and tee up a grandstand finish.
Warburton was pulled as Sheffield went for it, but Nottingham hung on to claim their second consecutive win of the tournament.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Panthers 25 Steelers 39
Panthers – Brett Perlini (02:56 – Domingue, Boivin); Christophe Boivin (09:55 – Perlini, Domingue); Mark Matheson (12:48 – Betteridge, Lachowicz); Christophe Boivin (18:37 – Domingue)
Steelers – Jason Hewitt (36:58 – Dowd, Mikyska PP); Josef Mikyska (46:26 – Saxrud-Danielsen, Eberle); Liam Kirk (58:29 – Connolly PP)