While Nottingham and Sheffield both got big wins at home, there were great comebacks for Guildford, Fife, and Dundee on the road on Sunday night.
Nottingham Panthers 7-2 Glasgow Clan
The Panthers made it five wins in a row as they defeated Glasgow Clan by five goals at the Motorpoint Arena.
Guillaume Lepine’s shorthanded goal with less than three minutes played put the Panthers on their way to the win, with Alex Guptill and Tyler Biggs (also shorthanded) putting the home side three up by 12:11. While Zach Fitzgerald pulled one back for the Clan with 2:27 left on the period, the Panthers hit a quick-fire double in the middle session to move further ahead. Justin Kovacs and Mark Hurtubise scored 1:04 apart, both on the powerplay, to make it 5-1. Farmer added the Panthers’ sixth goal, a third shorthanded, with 33:49 on the board to put them five goals ahead after 40 minutes.
Scott Pitt doubled the Clan’s total 4:33 into the final period, but the Panthers had the last laugh with Guptill adding another at 53:35 to round off a 7-2 win for the hosts who are now just a point behind Belfast.
Sheffield Steelers 4-2 Belfast Giants
24 hours after losing by the same score to the Giants, the Steelers got their first win of the weekend by defeating Belfast.
In another well-contested game the Steelers were two goals up after 20 minutes thanks to Rob Dowd – firstly being picked out unmarked in the slot with four minutes played, and then pouncing on his own rebound 2:35 later.
The hosts then went three goals ahead as Josh McFadden found the net with 23:07 played, and before the halfway mark had raced into a four-goal lead thanks to Ben O’Connor. Francis Beauvillier got the Giants on the board with a little over five minutes left in the period to start what would have been an impressive fightback, but the Steelers held out for most of the third period. Only Blair Riley’s goal with 57 seconds to go got past Jackson Whistle before the game was over, giving the Steelers a home win to end the Giants’ impressive unbeaten run.
Coventry Blaze 5-6 OT Guildford Flames
Three goals in 43 seconds helped the Flames come back from 5-2 down to tie the game, before going on to win it in overtime.
The Blaze led by two after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Shawn Pauly and Tim Crowder, both inside the last 90 seconds of the period. When Jake Hansen put the Blaze three up at 24:27, and then Ben Lake made it 4-0 just over a minute later, the Blaze looked to be on their way to a comfortable win.
John Dunbar pulled one back from the Flames at 28:58, while Ian Watters then made it a two-goal game at 31:16.
Despite conceding two in a row, the Blaze re-established a three-goal lead with 47:27 played through Lake, but the real drama was still to come. Watters finished from a tight angle to make it 5-3 at 58:17, Calle Ackered then reduced the arrears to one 16 seconds later. With 1:10 left in the game Watters again found the net to tie things up at five each. Overtime was end to end, eventually with TJ Foster coming in at the far post to slot home with 63:21 on the clock.
Manchester Storm 3-4 OT Fife Flyers
A late comeback was enough for Fife Flyers to force overtime in Manchester before going on to take an overtime win, as both teams tried to end their negative series.
It took just over two minutes for the deadlock to be broken in Manchester, Brett Bulmer putting the Flyers ahead. The Storm were level exactly two minutes later though as Rob Linsmayer netted with 4:05 played. There were still goals to come in the period however, Marcus Basara putting Fife ahead again with 15:49 gone, but again the Storm were to come back – this time Evan Richardson finding the equaliser with 1:56 left on the period. New Storm recruit Chance Braid then put the Storm ahead for the first time in the game just over four minutes into the second period, and they held that lead until the closing stages.
Fife rescued a point with the goalie pulled as Danick Gauthier beat Ginn with 50 seconds remaining in the game. That goal forced overtime which saw some decent chances for both teams, before Paul Crowder pounced on a rebound to Rick Pinkston’s shot to take the extra point for the Flyers.
Cardiff Devils 2-3 SO Dundee Stars
The Stars’ recent revival continued as they took a shootout win in Wales against the Cardiff Devils, and moved themselves level on points with Manchester.
The Devils, who came from behind to win in Fife last night, in control after goals from Matt Pope in the first period, and Sean Bentivoglio in the second, had the hosts two up with 40 minutes in the books.
However the Stars were to come back, Johan Andersson getting them back within one at 45:33 as he shot through a crowd of players, with Drydn Dow then squeezing the puck under Bowns with 4:41 left to tie the game. Both sides had chances to win the game in overtime, but with no goal it needed penalty shots to decide things. In the sixth round, Linglet missed and Marquardt beat Bowns to give the Stars the bonus point.
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