Defeat In Panthers Final League Match

Nottingham Panthers 3-7 Cardiff Devils (Elite League) 17.04.22

The Nottingham Panthers battled the injury bug (down six senior players) & almost pulled off a spectacular comeback in their final Elite League match of the season against the Cardiff Devils on Sunday night.

James Downie got the start in goal for the Panthers opposite Mac Carruth for the Devils.

An uneventful first half of the opening period gave way to a two goal Devils’ advantage in the second part. Justin Crandall (10.32) giving the visitors the lead before Jake Coughler (18.34) doubled their advantage late on.

Both sides exchanged powerplay opportunities early in the middle frame but neither side could find the back of the net, Downie flashing the leather of his glove to keep the Devils at bay the main highlights of either man-advantage.

Cardiff did add a third when Josh Batch (28.28) beat the Panthers’ netminder from a near horizontal angle along the goal line, the puck somehow finding a hole & crossing the line.

Things got worse for Nottingham late in the period as Coughler (34.22) netted his second of the game to make it four to nothing in favour of the visitors.

Nottingham didn’t let their heads drop after an early goal for the Devils in the third period, scored by Waller (42.45), and threatened to make a memorable comeback.

First Aaron Thow (47.27) beat Carruth before Mark Matheson (49.13) did the same less than two minutes later to bring the Motorpoint Arena to life.

The Panthers dominated for the next couple of shifts & the roof almost came off when Christophe Boivin (50.19) beat the Devils’ netminder up high to make it a two-goal game.

In search of more goals Nottingham gave up and odd-man rush, however, and Cardiff took advantage through Trevor Cox (51.54) & when Cole Sandford (58.02) scored late on the two Premier Sports Elite League points made their way back to South Wales.

The Panthers will next take on the Guildford Flames this coming weekend in their Premier Sports Elite League Quarter-Final match-up.

Nottingham secured fourth place with Wednesday’s 9-1 win over Coventry and a four-point weekend for the Flames locked them into fifth & that means that the two sides will collide for a place in the Playoff Finals Weekend.

The Panthers bring a 4-1-1 record in the regular season against the Flames into the Playoff Quarter-Final against the Flames, who they also ousted from the Challenge Cup in the same aggregate score format earlier this season.

*Main image @PanthersIHC a defeat in the final game before cup & playoff action.

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