Nottingham Panthers take on Guildford Flames in the Quarter Finals of the Elite League Playoffs with back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday for one goal aim, to progress into the last four and the finals weekend at the Motorpoint Arena over May Bank Holiday.
The Panthers who last won the Playoffs in 2016, have a number of injuries ahead of their biggest match-up of the campaign ahead, including netminder and fans voted MVP Kevin Carr who’s taking it week by week to recover from an upper body wound, with long term absentees side-lined including defence-man Stephen Lee and forwards Ollie Betteridge and Kevin Domingue.
With the likes of Mathieu Tousignant, Jordan Kelsall and Edwin Hedberg all fighting against time with knocks to recover themselves for the weekend’s match, it’s hoped that there will be some good news coming out of the treatment room ahead of Saturday night’s first leg trip to Guildford.
The second leg, in Nottingham on Sunday 24th April (4pm face off) will be shown live on Premier Sports with the winners making the cut to an exciting following weekend at the home of hockey, that will crown the 2021/22 season’s Playoff Champions.
Ahead of the game, Panthers TV caught up with defensive line J.C. Brassard who stated “The energy in the locker room gets up a bit (for the Playoffs), the fans get more excited, it’s just an exciting time of year” to be involved in.
Brassard stated, after an indifferent season for the Panthers “It doesn’t matter what happened for the rest of the year, this is now a new season, a four game season hopefully, and we can change everything and turn it all around for this weekend”.
Against Guildford who Nottingham have a good record against this season (4-1 in the league not including an OT loss and having knocked them out of the Challenge Cup), Brassard said “We definitely can’t take them lightly, they’re a great team, they can transition really well, they can score, but we have done well against them, we just have to make sure we don’t get too comfortable, we know how to play and if we play the right way, good things will come”.
The Panthers face the Flames at the Guildford Spectrum on Saturday night (6pm) before returning to the Motorpoint Arena the following day. Other matches in the Quarter Finals include regular season winners Belfast Giants against Coventry, Cardiff Devils verses Glasgow Clan, and Panthers rivals Sheffield Steelers against Dundee Stars.
Meanwhile some good news for three Panthers players ahead of the 2022 World Championships.
Josh Tetlow, Matthew Myers and Ollie Betteridge have all been selected for the Great Britain squad.
*Main image @PanthersIHC it will be the ninth and tenth times the two sides have met this season.