Panthers Show Steel But Are Edged By Sheffield

Nottingham Panthers 2-3 Sheffield Steelers (Elite League) 27.01.23

A quick turnaround for the Panthers from Wednesday night’s 6-3 Loss to Glasgow Clan as they face league leader’s Sheffield Steelers in what is always a good game of ice hockey. Panthers remain unchanged from Wednesday except Rok Stojanovic takes the crease from Mike Robinson. Sheffield misses forward Brett Neumann who has been incredible for the Yorkshire side so far this season and Matt Greenfield gets the start between the pipes. 

Period 1  (0-1)

The first period started with some good pressure from the Steelers which has been trademark of their game so far this season. Although Mike Caruso would lay a beautiful open ice hit on Steeler’s Sam Jones and Stephen Anderson would go close with two backhanded attempts on Matt Greenfield. Steelers continued their early pressure and forced Rok into a huge double save. Panther’s ran into penalty trouble as Simon Despres would get two minor penalties within the opening 6 minutes. Although, the penalties were killed Sheffield would capitalise on their good play and jam a puck home after Rok believed he made the save. Scored by Zach Vinnell assisted by Scott Allen at 8:13. Panthers responded well with Henbrandt outworking the Steelers defence and feeding Pare in front of the net which required a good save from Greenfield. Nieminen and Anderson would combine with a great passing play but could not tie the game. The teams left the ice with a standing ovation from the home crowd. 

Period 2  (1-2)

Period 2 started the same manner as period 1 but this time Mitchell Balmas would capitalise early in the second frame with a bar down snipe which Stojanovic could do nothing about. Assisted by Josh Nicholls after 2:05. Simon Despres would take his fourth penalty of the game with a slashing call, but Otto Nieminen and Hugo Roy would combine to score a short-handed goal for the Panthers to make it 2-1 with 8:09 played in the second period. Both teams played stellar defence with little clear-cut chances for either side. Steelers would run into their own penalty trouble with Cormier and Juusola each in the sinbin, but Panthers could not score on either advantage. The end of the period came, and it set up a great third period with only one goal in the game and a good game in the books so far. 

Period 3  (2-3)

Panthers came out stronger this period and the play was going end to end from early in the period. Hugo Roy would get his second of the net after a great tip on Nieminen’s shot. Hometown Hazeldine also picked up an assist and Panthers tied the game with 15:31 left to play in the game. The roar from the crowd was incredible and the arena was buzzing. Panthers continued to come forward but after Anderson was checked along the player benches Balmas was sprung by a long outlet pass from the captain Dowd for the Steelers to equalise as Balmas put the puck through Rok’s five hole. Panthers did not give up and put even more pressure on the Steelers and force 4 consecutive icings from the league leaders. Rok was pulled in favour of the extra attacker, but Nottingham could not muster another tying goal and would fall to Sheffield 3-2. Both defences were on top for the whole game and the effort displayed by both teams was incredible. In fact, in Aaron Fox’s post-game interview, he commended the Panthers’ compete level and admitted his team was outworked. The Sheffield head coach also went on to have a message for the ‘toxic’ people who aren’t supporting the group. I thoroughly recommend everyone listen to Aaron Fox’s interview here.

*Article provided by Joe Maciag (Ice Hockey Correspondent).

*Main image @PanthersImages action from Nottingham’s defeat against Sheffield on Saturday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *