For the second time in three days, Manchester Storm and Nottingham Panthers met again as the final round of games began and Ryan Finnerty’s side were still looking for their first win over Tim Wallace’s men.
With second place at stake, who would get the all-important to edge them closer to Sheffield Steelers at the top of the table?
06 Apr 21: Storm 1 Panthers 3
14 Apr 21: Panthers 4 Storm 3 (OT)
19 Apr 21: Panthers 4 Storm 3
- The Elite League have announced their packages for the play-offs (Elite Ice Hockey League)
- Storm looking for quick revenge over Panthers (Manchester Storm)
- Connolly plays key role as Steelers rediscover winning feeling (Yorkshire Post)
- Puck management must improve says Stewart (Coventry Blaze)
- Hotshot Keck counts his blessing over Blaze move (British Ice Hockey)
📊 WHO WILL WIN? 📊
— British Ice Hockey 🏒 (@BritIceHockey) April 21, 2021
Ryan Finnerty was celebrating seeing his team finally get their first win of the tournament over the Panthers, but will be left wondering why the final score wasn’t as one-sided as it perhaps should have been.
It was a poor night for Nottingham, despite two first period goals from Brett Perlini, but Storm can feel rightfully pleased at getting what could be a key win with the play-offs imminent.
They took an early lead when Ben Lake got the final touch on a blue line shot from Ben Solder, in the right place to take it beyond Ben Bowns.
Perlini had space through the centre when he took on the puck from Christophe Boivin and lashed a shot into the Manchester net to equalise.
Parity lasted just over a minute and a half when Storm went ahead again when a shot from Ciaran Long popped loose, allowing Max Fortier to deliver the finish.
Panthers weren’t going to let that stand when Perlini got his second of the night to beat Bonar again, as both sides went in at the break, level at 2-2.
Nottingham struggled to get into the game fully as Storm went close on a few occasions, with one from Fortier hitting the post.
It was clearly a concern for Wallace, who called a time out after 26 minutes to try and inject some life into his weary players.
Five minutes later, a shot from Tyson Fawcett took a nick off Cam Critchlow on its way past Bowns and again Panthers were behind again.
Ciaran Long and Jacob Lundell Noer went close in the early stages of the third as Storm looked to kill the game off, but despite Panthers’ below par display, they found Bowns on top form.
Eventually they got the goal they needed when Martin Gran moved in from the left and dispatched a low one under Bowns to secure the points.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Storm 37 Panthers 23
Storm – Ben Lake (01:49 – Solder, Gran); Max Fortier (13:46 – Ehrhardt, Simmonds); Cam Critchlow (31:03 – Fawcett, Ehrhardt); Martin Gran (55:57 – Lake)
Panthers – Brett Perlini (12:10 – Boivin); Brett Perlini (16:38 – Domingue)
POST GAME REACTION