Saturday night saw Nottingham Panthers look to build on their Friday night success over Sheffield Steelers as they faced Coventry Blaze, another team keen to get a run going after defeating Manchester Storm on Thursday.
With two sets of talented players in their offensive, we were bound to see goals. Which way it would favour was very unclear though.
04 Apr 21: Blaze 3 Panthers 1
11 Apr 21: Panthers 1 Blaze 3
- Young Sheffield Steelers goalie Curtis Warburton is keen for more action after his impressive display against Nottingham on Friday (Sheffield Star)
- Stewart backing assistant for future coaching role (British Ice Hockey)
PRE GAME POLL
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Ross Venus’ dramatic overtime winner saw off a resilient Nottingham Panthers side to take full points in a 4-3 thriller.
Blaze nearly threw a 3-1 lead away as Nottingham, buoyed by their Friday night win over Sheffield, nicked a point and almost nabbed the extra one.
But it was the Blaze who came up trumps as Venus tucked away a rebound after the initial shot bounced off Ben Bowns in the Panthers goal and fell for the Coventry forward to finish off.
Before the game began, both teams participated in a minute’s stick tap to honour the bravery of eight-month-old Azaylia Cain and her family as she fights a rare form of progressive terminal cancer.
It was a nice touch from both teams and soon the business of trying to pick up two more points took central focus, especially from Panthers who put some early pressure on the Blaze.
The Friday win over Steelers certainly boosted their confidence, but Jordan Hedley, starting in place of Shane Owen, was in no mood to be beaten.
Coventry got a foothold in the game and it wasn’t long before they were able to go in front as Tristan Keck, with help from Mike Hammond, notched his eighth goal of the campaign.
The second period passed by, for the most part, with very little by way of incident, although it didn’t stop both teams from looking for a way through to alter the scoreline.
After his three-point haul on Friday, it wasn’t really a surprise to find that Christophe Boivin was the man to score for Panthers and level the game.
Their celebrations had barely died down when Keck was on target again to restore the Coventry lead and go in ahead at the second break.
Once more Nottingham looked to be on top as they found themselves still chasing the game and it looked as though the game was going to be beyond them with ten to go.
It was Luke Ferrara, who found the net to put Blaze 3-1 ahead and despite having that cushion, still had work to do to see it out.
However, Nottingham came to life and got their reward, firstly by Austin Cangelosi scored on a five-on-three penalty.
Then Mark Matheson netted with four minutes to go to tie the game up, which, as a consequence, saw the game moved into overtime, where Venus had his big moment to seal victory.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Blaze 19 Panthers 44
Blaze – Tristan Keck (16:32 – Hammond, Jermain); Tristan Keck (39:49 – Clements, Hammond); Luke Ferrara (49:22 – Laakkonen, Bryhnisveen); Ross Venus (61:33 – unassisted)
Panthers – Christophe Boivin (38:58 – Perlini, Domingue); Austin Cangelosi (52:12 – Boivin, Matheson PP); Mark Matheson (55:55 – unassisted)