Nottingham Panthers 4-2 Manchester Storm (Elite League) 16.02.22
The Nottingham Panthers built on their Sunday afternoon win over the Cardiff Devils with another victory on home-ice on Wednesday night, this time against the Manchester Storm.
Kevin Carr started in goal for the Panthers opposite James Downie for the Storm.
Jared Vanwormer (2.53) gave the visitors an early lead on the powerplay but Christophe Boivin (12.14) pulled the Panthers back level when Nottingham went to a man-advantage of their own, the forward beating the Storm netminder with with a rocket from the point.
Neither side could forge ahead again in a disjointed first period, which contained a lot of whistles, and the teams went into the first intermission tied.
Nottingham started to dominate play in the second period, Carozza & Lane the chief architects despite denied by Downie on multiple occasions.
Robbie Baillargeon (29.30) put the Panthers ahead when he picked his spot over the blocker of the Storm netminder, after skating from below the goal line and out front, with Jack Hopkins picking up his first professional point on the play.
A late penalty to Linden Springer gave the Panthers the chance to add to their lead but they couldn’t break down a stubborn Storm penalty kill unit & went into the final frame in front by one.
Vanwormer (49.05) got his second powerplay goal of the game to bring Manchester level but Robbie Baillargeon (53.37) was on hand to get his second to restore the Panthers’ lead with a nice deflection in front.
Ollie Betteridge (59.46) sealed the game for Nottingham with a short-handed empty-netter to give them their second win in as many games on home ice.
The win ensures Nottingham stay fourth but with 35 points from 34 games, it’s a long way to catch Cardiff in third who have 51 but at least over the Guildford Flames in fifth, the Panthers now have a five point cushion going into a busy week where Nottingham play three times, on Saturday night in the Elite League against Coventry away before returning to the Motorpoint Arena to face Belfast the day after. The Panthers will then travel to the Giants on Wednesday night in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, with the winners facing either Sheffield Steelers or Cardiff Devils.
*Main image @PanthersIHC that winning feeling for the Panthers.