Panthers hold on for place in cup semis
Photo: John Uwins
Nottingham Panthers booked their place in the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals with a 6-5 aggregate win over the Guildford Flames, becoming the only side to knock-out higher-seeded opposition in the Quarter-Final stage.
Leading 4-2 from the first leg a week earlier, the Panthers had Kevin Carr to thank for an excellent 2-on-1 glove save to keep the scores level inside the opening 10 minutes at the Spectrum.
Guildford took the lead at 13:20 following good work from Mac Howlett to keep the puck which eventually allowed Owen Griffiths to get on a loose puck in front of Carr to score. Now within one on aggregate, the Flames just needed to get to the period break ahead, however that on the night lead lasted all of 47 seconds before JC Brassard made use of space in the offensive zone to tie it at 14:07.
No goals in the middle period meant there was still all to play for in the final period, but when Jeremy Welsh was the recipient of a fortunate bounce off the end-zone glass, the Panthers were three up on aggregate with 6:26 to play. Jordan Cownie pulled one back for the Flames 42 seconds later, giving the hosts 4:44 to try and find two goals.
Brett Ferguson made things interesting with a goal at 59:15 to give the hosts the lead on the night, but their search for the aggregate-tying goal ended abruptly when Jamal Watson was given a roughing minor on the offensive blueline with 15 seconds to go.