Guildford Flames 5-2 Nottingham Panthers (Challenge Cup – First Leg)
Guildford will head to Nottingham on Valentine’s Day for the return leg with a three-goal aggregate lead thanks to a 5-2 home win over the Panthers at the Spectrum.
In a seesaw opening period, the Flames twice led thanks to goals from Jamie Crooks just after three minutes, and later Erik Lindhagen with under two left in the period. However each time the Panthers pegged them back – Mark Hurtubise scoring just past the 16-minute mark, and Alex Guptill netting with five seconds left in the period to make it two each after 20 minutes in Surrey.
The flames pulled away in the middle session as Ian Watters and Crooks again extended their lead out to two, with a pair of goals just under 10 minutes apart. 1:08 into the final period Ben Davis found the net on the powerplay to put his side in a commanding position when the sides meet again in Nottingham on 14 February.
Game photos (John Uwins):