After parting ways with Coach Tim Wallace in the week following a 7-2 thumping at home to Belfast Giants, and with defenceman Taylor Doherty shown the exit door too, Nottingham Panthers were looking to bounce back upon a new era starting Saturday against Guildford Flames followed up on Sunday against Fife Flyers with the Motorpoint Arena a happier place having seen back to back wins from those games.
On Saturday the Panthers beat Guildford 4-3 to inflict further damage on the Flames own form, the Southerners having lost six Elite League matches in a row went seven without a win on Sunday after being beaten at Sheffield Steelers.
For Sunday’s opponents Fife who are outside the playoffs in ninth, it was a 4-2 win for the Panthers who move up to fourth in the table following their four point weekend.
Against the Flames on Saturday, Ollie Betteridge (14.18) put the Panthers ahead when he was slipped through by Matthew Myers before Christophe Boivin (16.55) doubled Nottingham’s lead a little over two minutes later, the forward showing great desire to get to a loose puck in the crease & poke it home.
Brett Ferguson (17.55) delivered a crunching hit before firing into the back of Nottingham’s goal to give the hosts some hope heading into the second period.
Guildford tied the game when Jordan Cownie (30.16) converted at the back door and took a late period lead through John Dunbar (39.04) who converted in close and the hosts went into the final frame holding their first lead of the game.
Robbie Baillargeon (46.30) beat Lindskoug with a quick shot on the powerplay before scoring again late on (56.43), picking his own rebounding and firing into the goal, to seal two Premier Sports Elite League points for your Nottingham Panthers.
On Sunday it was Ollie Betteridge (6.02) who again gave the Panthers the perfect start in front of their home crowd against Fife, after a great heads up play Kevin Carr to keep the puck alive at the other end of the ice, when he beat Owen to give Nottingham an early lead.
However, a couple of defensive breakdowns late in the period allowed Fife to skate out of the period with a one goal lead, Michael McNicholas (17.27) converting at the backdoor short-handed & Colton Waltz (18.15) finishing off a pretty passing play in close.
The Panthers bounced back in the second period thanks to goals from Jeremy Welsh (21.44), who’s rocket from the blue line eluded Owen with Matthew Myers providing an excellent screen in front, on the powerplay and Sean Richards (32.31) who slipped a quick shot by the Flyers’ netminder to send Nottingham into the final frame holding a one-goal lead.
A professional performance in the third saw the Panthers to victory with Mathieu Tousignant (59.54) adding an empty-netter with six seconds to go.
Next up for Nottingham is a Challenge Cup match against Guildford at home on Tuesday night before a trip to Scotland at the weekend.
*Main image @PanthersIHC the Panthers players celebrate on Sunday night v Fife.