Panthers Fightback For Shootout Win

Netminder Jack Berry led the Nottingham Panthers to their second successive penalty-shot victory, as they came from behind to beat Glasgow Clan 3-2 in the Premier Sports Elite League last night.

Berry, who helped his side beat Manchester Storm on Sunday in a Challenge Cup win by the same score, made four stops in the shootout in Scotland, while David Levin and Adam Brady converted their penalties, as Panthers securing the extra league point.

Defenceman Mike Caruso returned to the line-up, but netminder Alex Dubeau and forward Tanner Sorenson missed out because of suspension.

Panthers were also without Duggie Lagrone and Andrew Johnston because of injury.

Berry got his third successive start between the pipes, while Nottingham Lions netminder Luca Sheldon was back-up.

Panthers started the period on top with Jordan Kelsall and JC Brassard going close, while Stephen Anderson was denied by Clan netminder John Muse on the wraparound, but the hosts ended the period stronger to take a two-goal lead, with Gary Haden’s doorstep rebound (17:55) being followed just over two minutes later by Steve McParland’s powerplay goal (19:56).

Levin, Mike Hammond and Brett Welychka had early second-period efforts for the Panthers and Berry made a good stop to deny Mathieu Roy at the other end.

McParland’s shot grazed the crossbar as Glasgow continued to push for a third goal, while Nottingham had two chances in quick succession through Mathieu Gagnon and Kelly Summers.

Hammond reduced the arrears with 30 seconds to go in the period, as he pounced onto a rebound with a backhand shot across Muse after the puck had bounced into his path off the backboards.

Berry made three saves in quick succession at the start of the third period, before Craig Puffer’s superb wraparound drew Panthers level (42:10).

Anderson beautifully set-up Matthew Myers who saw his shot saved by Muse, while Levin was denied on the doorstep inside the final 30 seconds.

Muse made an outstanding save from Brassard from close range, but there was no scoring in overtime which meant Panthers went to penalty shots for the second game in succession.

Berry was outstanding again, turning away four of Clan’s five attempts, with Levin and Brady scoring past Muse to help Panthers secure an important two Elite League points.

Head Coach, Gary Graham, who has seen improvement in his team over the last few matches with three successive wins, said: “The boys stuck with it. We expected Glasgow to come out hard and we didn’t handle it well in first period.

“We settled into our game in the second and saved our best hockey for last. I am proud of the resilience the group has showed lately.”

Panthers are back in action on Saturday with Sheffield Steelers the visitors to the Motorpoint Arena. The two sides go head-to-head in the Premier Sports Challenge Cup (7pm face-off). The Steelers currently top of the group a point ahead of Nottingham after the Panthers double win over Manchester last weekend.

*Main image @PanthersIHC Nottingham bounced back to win a second successive shootout.

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