Elite Series Day 20: Steelers and Panthers edge first legs

Sam Jones scored Steelers' first goal as they edged to victory over Manchester Storm (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

It was the first day of the semi finals as the competition switched from a round robin format to a knockout and all four teams were involved, looking to get the edge in their last four ties.

A busy Tuesday saw Coventry Blaze face Nottingham Panthers then Manchester Storm meet Sheffield Steelers in their semi final first legs, but who would be smiling at the end of the day?

Let our recap paint the picture for you.

DAILY HEADLINES

PRE-GAME POLLS

GAME RECAP

COVENTRY BLAZE 0 NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 2

Jackson Whistle recorded the first shutout of the Elite Series to give Nottingham Panthers a two-goal advantage in their semi final tie against Coventry Blaze.

It was a second win in three days over the Blaze and it’s appearing like Nottingham are hitting form at the right time, with four wins from their last five, while Coventry have lost four of their last five as well.

The night belonged to Whistle, who took care of 30 shots on goal to keep the Blaze at bay, particularly that potent first line of Nick Jermain, Mike Hammond and Tristan Keck.

The best chance in a goalless first period fell to Keck, who was in front of goal, but his shot couldn’t find a way past the Panthers goalie.

Nottingham were the team to take the lead when Kevin Domingue was in the right place to take care of a rebound, after Shane Owen had saved Brett Perlini’s initial chance.

Both teams had employed a cautious approach to the game, with a place in the best of three series final at stake, but Blaze had to try and find a way to get on the board.

The pace picked up and while Whistle was tested on a few occasions, Panthers still kept their goal unblemished as they moved into the final period.

Keck hit the post early in the third, but once more, was as much as they could muster and almost predictably, Panthers added to their lead with five minutes to go.

Austin Cangelosi was the man to score it, from a Christophe Boivin assist and it confirmed a good first leg lead for Tim Wallace’s side, with tomorrow’s second leg not coming quick enough already for Danny Stewart and his team.

SHOTS ON GOAL: Blaze 30 Panthers 20

GOALSCORERS:

Blaze – None

Panthers – Kevin Domingue (22:08 – Perlini, Boivin); Austin Cangelosi (55:21 – Boivin)

POST GAME REACTION

GAME RECAP

MANCHESTER STORM 4 SHEFFIELD STEELERS 5

Sheffield Steelers got the upper hand in this semi final first leg, but are by no means home and hosed as they edged Manchester Storm in a tense 5-4 game.

Liam Kirk was withdrawn from Steelers line up while John Muse returned to action in the Steelers net, his first action since the opening day, suffering injury that kept him out.

Storm took the lead after eight minutes through an excellent finish from Max Fortier, working his way up the right, coming inside and finishing through Muse’s legs in the Steelers net.

It was a period that offered a few chances, but never really found the finishes some of the chances deserved and you had to say Storm were finding space to bother Muse.

Sam Jones pulled Steelers level, picking up the puck just inside the Manchester zone, skipping forward, taking the puck on his right to evade Andreas Klavestad before despatching an excellent shot home.

Sheffield went ahead a couple of minutes into the second period when Kevin Schulze got a loose puck and sent it flying into the net, via a tip from Tanner Eberle on the way.

Fortier got his second of the game, taking on a loose puck and surging forward, where he got the better of Muse again.

Steelers regained the lead on 32 minutes when Josef Mikyska picked out Sondre Olden, who took it on to his backhand and delivered the finish past Sean Bonar in the Storm goal.

Jeremy Beaudry added a fourth, finishing a rebound after Bonar had stopped Jason Hewitt’s shot but Fortier completed his hat-trick, sweeping a shot high into the net to make it a 4-3 game.

Eberle got his second with a one-timer after being set up by Dowd to increase their lead again, however Jacob Lundell Noer scooped the puck into the net for Storm shortly after to keep them to within a goal ahead of Thursday’s reverse leg.

SHOTS ON GOAL: Storm 27 Steelers 38

GOALSCORERS:

Storm – Max Fortier (08:04 – Simmonds, Long); Max Fortier (25:57 – unassisted); Max Fortier (38:17 – Simmonds, Long); Jacob Lundell Noer (50:40 – Klavestad, Solder)

Steelers – Sam Jones (18:49 – D Phillips, Hewitt); Tanner Eberle (21:40 – Schulze, Connolly); Sondre Olden (32:22 – Mikyska, Dowd); Jeremy Beaudry (36:21 – Hewitt); Tanner Eberle (49:19 – Dowd, Beaudry)

POST GAME REACTION

PHOTOS OF THE DAY

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)
(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)
(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)
(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)
(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

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