Nottingham Panthers 4-5 Sheffield Steelers (GM Memorial Trophy Final) 27.08.22
Nottingham Panthers returned to ice in front of over 5,000 fans in Nottingham as they faced their first pre-season friendly fixture in a GM Memorial Cup tie against Sheffield Steelers at the Motorpoint Arena last night.
A new look Panthers team saw Alex Dubeau make the start in goal with Oskar Ostlund in-between the pipes for the Steelers.
The home side under new management of course, made a dream start, scoring after only 52 seconds as former Manchester Storm forward Mike Hammond finished off a well-worked move from close range.
Adam Raska levelled for the Steelers on the powerplay through the five-hole (10:33), before Adam Brady fired home from the slot after a great feed from the corner by Brett Welychka only 42 seconds later (11:15) to regain home advantage.
Martin Latal then produced a neat finish on the breakaway to pull Steelers level again (13:20), but it was Panthers who went to the intermission with the advantage thanks to two goals in 45 seconds.
Jeremy Welsh broke into the zone and flipped the puck to Stephen Anderson at the backdoor (16:09), while Matthew Myers went top-shelf short-side to make it 4-2 at 16:54 with an assist going to teenager Jack Hopkins.
A scoreless second period followed but Steelers set-up a tense finish when former Panther Evan Mosey netted from the slot short-handed (50:10).
Raska then bundled in a doorstep rebound on the powerplay to equalise at 56:26.
After a scoreless overtime, Daniel Ciampini and Raska netted in the shootout as the visitors claimed the victory with Panthers coach Gary Graham stating that ‘special teams made the difference’ in the end.
The two teams will do it all again tonight in Sheffield where the Panthers will be hoping to build more momentum with ice time ahead of the season proper which starts on September 10th.
*Main image @PanthersIHC a tough nights workout ended in the narrowest of defeats.