Cardiff Devils 1 Coventry Blaze 4
Blaze gave coach Paul Thompson exactly the reaction he was looking for after their home humiliation at the hands of Nottingham on Sunday by convincingly beating Devils in their own barn.
Led by a Dustin Cameron double and 40 saves from Peter Hirsch, the visitors were in command for most of the game and were well worth the points in the end.
Blaze had much the better of the opening period but had only a powerplay goal from Cameron at 9.32 to show for their efforts. The teams equally shared 22 shots on goal in the second session but it was the visitors who were sharper in front of goal and moved into a commanding position when they added goals by Benn Olson at 28.29 and Jerraime Domish on the powerplay at 34.31.
Devils gave themselves a glimmer of hope early in the third period when Mark Smith scored on the powerplay at 44.40 but that was as close as they were to get despite firing 22 shots on Hirsch in the period.
Having survived the home pressure Blaze were able to round off the scoring with a fourth goal, with Cameron collecting his second of the game at 57.56 to complete a fine road performance from the Skydome based side.
Period Scores: 0-1, 0-2, 1-1
Penalty Mins: Car 8+4+0=12, Cov 6+2+4=12
Powerplay: Car 1/6, Cov 2/6
Shots On: Phil Osaer 16+11+5=32, Peter Hirsch 8+11+22=41
Referee: Michael Hicks
Nottingham Panthers 3 Sheffield Steelers 2 (After Penalty Shootout)
A huge Boxing Day crowd of 6,999 saw Panthers and Steelers match up in a big game for both sides and in the end after seven rounds of a shootout it was Eric Werner who scored with all three of the shots he took that claimed the winner and the extra point for the home side, moving them now six points clear at the top of the standings.
A perfect start for Corey Neilson’s Panthers as on the powerplay David Clarke fired them ahead after only 3.52 and it got even better for the home side when a second powerplay goal had them 2-0 ahead by the first period break, this time Jason Beckett firing home at 15.16.
An always physical encounter saw Guillaume Lepine of Panthers and Steven Goertzen of Steelers drop the gloves at 28.40 but only 16 seconds later with Steelers on the powerplay following the altercation it was a one-goal game when Jeff Legue was on target for the visitors.
That proved to be the only goal in the second period and indeed as time looked to be running out it seemed that Steelers would fall just short but after pulling goaltender John De Caro late on for the extra skater the home side were stunned when ex Panther Danny Meyers scored his first goal of the season as a Steeler with only 18 seconds remaining to take the game into overtime.
Panthers dominated the extra five minutes but could not force a winner, the game then went to a shootout where incredibly both sides scored twice from their original three shots then twice more in sudden death shots before Werner raised the NIC roof with the winning shot.
Period Scores: 2-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0-0, 1-0 (5-4)
Penalty Mins: Not 2+31+0+2=35, She 8+9+2+0=19
Powerplay: Not 2/5, She 1/7
Shots On: Craig Kowalski 4+9+5+2=20, John De Caro 13+9+11+7=40
Referee: Andy Carson