Comebacks and big wins on Saturday night

December 1, 2018 9:52 pm

There were big wins and comebacks on Saturday night in the Elite Ice Hockey league as Belfast stayed top of the table.

Guildford Flames 3-8 Nottingham Panthers

A disaster of a middle period saw Guildford Flames lose heavily at home to Nottingham Panthers.

The Panthers held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes in Surrey thanks to goals seven minutes apart – Brett Perlini put them ahead with 4:53 played, while just before the 12 minute mark Tommy Hughes doubled the visitors’ lead.

And then came period two in which the Panthers ran away with the game. Ollie Betteridge made it three just 3:11 into the period, and then extended the lead to four as many minutes later. By the time the game had just passed the 30 minute mark Alex Guptill had extended the Panthers’ lead to 5-0, and then goals around 150 seconds apart from Marek Tvrdon and Mark Hurtubise had Nottingham up by seven.

The Flames eventually got themselves on the board with 1:40 left in the period thanks to Kruise Reddick, although Luke Pither struck at the beginning of the final period to make it 8-1. Calle Ackered pulled the game back to 2-8 just over a minute later, with Erik Lindhagen then getting the Flames’ third of the night at 48:40. That goal was the last of the action as the Panthers took the win to stay second.

Dundee Stars 4-2 Coventry Blaze

It’s now three straight wins for the Dundee Stars after they twice came from behind to beat Coventry.

After a goalless opening period at the Dundee Ice Arena, the sides went in level at one each after 40 minutes. After both sides were guilty of not making the most of powerplay opportunities, eventually the Blaze did make one count – Ben Lake finishing at 25:23. That lead held until 35:26 when the Stars, looking to build on last week’s wins over Fife, levelled through Francois Bouchard.

With no goals in the opening stages in the final period, the next goal would be crucial when it came – or so you’d have thought. It fell for the Blaze, as Luke Ferrara put the visitors back in front with 10:15 to play. The Stars left it late but were able to turn the game on its head in the final seven minutes of the game. With 6:20 left, Mike Sullivan levelled the scores, before the home side took the two points with two goals in 57 seconds as the clock ticked down. Sullivan scored again to put the Stars ahead with 57:23 played, and then Charles Corcoran made the win safe making it 4-2 with 1:40 to go.

MK Lightning 5-2 Manchester Storm

It’s now three out of four home wins for the MK Lightning since putting Ryan Lannon and Tim Wallace in charge of coaching duties – the latest tonight over Manchester thanks to a strong second 20 minutes.

It was an even opening period on the scoreboard as both sides traded powerplay goals. The Storm took the lead through Luke Moffatt with 4:36 gone, but that lead wouldn’t hold until the end of the period -Nelson Armstrong with the Lightning’s equaliser 1:08 from the end of the period.

It was however the second period where the Lightning were able to take hold of the game. Nelson Armstrong scored at 22:42 and 27:06 to put the hosts 3-1 up and complete a natural hat-trick! 42 seconds after the third goal, Owen Griffiths then extended the Lightning’s lead to three, but the Storm were to get themselves back in the game before the period was over – Evan Richardson’s powerplay effort bring the deficit back to 4-2 with 37:53 played.

A Georgs Golovkovs powerplay goal for the Lightning with 1:20 left gave his side the breathing space they needed for the rest of the game to tick down and take the two points.

Sheffield Steelers 2-4 Belfast Giants

The Steelers and Giants played out a thrilling game in Sheffield as one side was to lose its winning record. In the end it was the Giants who took the win to keep themselves ahead at the top.

The visitors, backed by a good number of travelling fans in Sheffield, took the lead with just over 12 minutes gone in the opening period through David Rutherford. 4:55 into the middle session the Steelers were level, Robert Dowd with the goal to make it 1-1 – a scoreline which held into the third period.

The Giants only needed 1:46 to go back in front however when the final period had begun, as Francis Beauvillier re-established their lead. And things got better for the visitors just under eight minutes later when Blair Riley’s pass found David Rutherford unmarked in the slot to make it 3-1. The Steelers were back in the game however with 8:37 to play – shorthanded, Eric Neiley was brought down on the breakaway, but the forward stepped up to convert the penalty shot and bring his side back to within one. Coach Barrasso pulled the goalie with well over two minutes to play, but the Steelers struggled to get the puck deep in the last 90 seconds. Eventually, Darcy Murphy found the empty net to confirm the Giants’ win.

Fife Flyers 3-8 Cardiff Devils

The Flyers must be wondering what they need to do to get a win after blowing an early lead at home to the defending champions to extend their losing streak to six straight games.

Inside the opening 30 seconds the Flyers were a goal up on the Devils thanks to Marcus Barasa – and when Carlo Finucci struck at 29:02 the hosts led by a pair just before the halfway mark of the game. That was however the start of the Devils’ fightback as they turned the game on its head in just over three minutes. Gleason Fournier got them back in the game at 30:28, with Justin Faryna levelling things at 33:09 and Mike Hedden putting the visitors in the lead just 30 seconds later.

Joey Martin popped up with the Devils’ fourth 1:40 before the end of the period to put them 4-2 ahead after 40 minutes. Two goals in 22 seconds from Hedden and Joey Haddad had the Devils 6-2 up before the final period was five minutes old, with Sam Duggan making it 7-2 at 48:35. The Flyers rallied a little with Paul Crowder’s goal with 5:45 to go, but 54 seconds later Layne Ulmer netted for the Devils to round off an 8-3 win for the visitors who were two down halfway through the game.

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