Elite Series Day 19: Steelers and Panthers round off with wins

Mark Matheson celebrates after helping Panthers to another overtime victory (PHOTO: Panthers Images)

The final day of the ‘regular season’ was upon us as the four teams were playing for their final positions before finding out who they’ll play in the play-offs.

Sheffield Steelers were the only team confirmed, with their top spot clinched on Saturday, but the others were still jostling for position.

By the end of the day, the play-offs would be set.

DAILY HEADLINES

PRE-GAME POLLS

GAME RECAP

NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 4 COVENTRY BLAZE 3 (AFTER OVERTIME)

Mark Matheson’s overtime winner saw Nottingham Panthers come from behind for the second consecutive day to take victory, this time over Coventry Blaze.

The result, including Coventry taking a point, sees them occupying second and third place, with a regulation win for Manchester Storm in their game with Sheffield Steelers that could see them meet again in the play-offs this week.

For Danny Stewart’s side, it was the one that got away as they slumped to their third loss in four – not ideal preparation for the semi finals later in the week.

It took 14 minutes for the opening goal, as Luke Ferrara netted to put them ahead, however Panthers were back on level terms through Christophe Boivin.

The period ended with another goal as Mike Hammond got the finish this time, with Ferrara taking the role as provider.

Ollie Betteridge hauled Nottingham level again with a finish that may or may not have taken a nick off Nicolai Bryhnisveen on the way in.  Regardless, the game was tied again.

Blaze restored the lead for the third time as David Clements finished off an excellent pass from Hammond and once more, Coventry got their noses in front.

Only four minutes remained when Kevin Domingue made his contribution, which proved to be a vital one as Panthers had to dig deep again in overtime.

That’s when Matheson stepped up, delivering the finish that got Tim Wallace’s side a second character win in as many days and giving them the sort of timely boost you need when you head into play-off hockey.

SHOTS ON GOAL: Panthers 36 Blaze 23

GOALSCORERS:

Panthers – Christophe Boivin (14:57 – Domingue, Perlini); Ollie Betteridge (24:31 – Hook, Lachowicz); Kevin Domingue (56:06 – Ellis); Mark Matheson (61:37 – Domingue)

Blaze – Luke Ferrara (14:23 – Bryhnisveen, Hammond PP); Mike Hammond (19:24 – Ferrara PP); David Clements (35:02 – Hammond, Keck)

POST GAME REACTION

GAME RECAP

MANCHESTER STORM 3 SHEFFIELD STEELERS 5

Sheffield Steelers ended their regular season campaign in the Elite Series with victory as they got the better of Manchester Storm in a 5-3 game.

While it wasn’t a classic, in some respects, Sheffield can be pleased to get back on the winning road after the manner of their loss in overtime to Nottingham Panthers.

Storm needed to win in regulation time to avoid finishing fourth in the standings and prevent another couple of meetings with Steelers later in the week in the play-offs, but couldn’t do it as both sides get ready to meet again.

However, Sheffield showed they were ready from the off, scoring within the opening minute as Kevin Schulze sent a shot over Sean Bonar’s shoulder to net after 33 seconds.

Manchester levelled a few minutes later when Craig Peacock sent the puck across the crease, where Tyson Fawcett arrived to tip it past Ben Churchfield.

Liam Kirk got in on the act with a decent finish before the 10-minute mark to edge his team in front again, but it wasn’t to last.

Ciaran Long pulled Storm level as found a gap to despatch the puck in from the left side and the teams were level as they returned to the locker room.

Steelers put themselves ahead again as Jonathan Phillips got on the end of the assist by Sondre Olden to take the knee and slam in their third goal as the game approached the midway mark.

They added to it before the second break when Josef Mikyska’s pass from the right found Sam Jones in space at the face off circle and he swept it home to increase the lead.

Ryan Finnerty’s side got one back to narrow the gap with around 10 to go as Dallas Ehrhardt’s shot found its way in to make it a 4-3 game with 11 minutes to go.

They threw everything at it in the final couple of minutes, but Sondre Olden’s empty netter rounded the night off as Steelers took both points.

SHOTS ON GOAL: Storm 40 Steelers 32

GOALSCORERS:

Storm – Tyson Fawcett (03:15 – Peacock); Ciaran Long (12:46 – Ehrhardt PP)

Steelers – Kevin Schulze (00:33 – Mikyska, Kirk); Liam Kirk (09:36 – D Phillips, Eberle); Jonathan Phillips (26:37 – Olden, Dowd); Sam Jones (36:42 – Mikyska, Eberle PP); Sondre Olden (57:35 – Eberle, Myers)

POST GAME REACTION

To follow

PHOTOS OF THE DAY

(PHOTO: Mark Ferriss)

(PHOTO: Mark Ferriss)
(PHOTO: Mark Ferriss)
(PHOTO: Panthers Images)
(PHOTO: Panthers Images)
(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)
(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)
(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

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