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Clan edge it in OT to move into playoffs

Photo: Panthers Images

Glasgow Clan equalised inside the final three minutes of the game before winning in overtime to edge past Nottingham Panthers 3-2, and move into the playoff places ahead of the final week of the 2023/24 Elite League season. 

Period one belonged to the goalies at each end as the sides headed back to the locker rooms without score after 20 minutes. Antti Karjalainen's sprawling save kept the Panthers out early, while Rok Stojanovič made some key saves in close to prevent the Clan taking the lead.

Glasgow started period two well and began having some looks in front of Stojanovič's net. That pressure almost saw Darien Craighead open the scoring with his father in the building, but on the next play Luke Lynch fired home in the slot to open the scoring at 24:52.

Clan could, and probably should, have gone two ahead when a tic-tac-toe play involving Charlie Combs and Mike Pelech resulted in the latter's one time from the top of the crease excellently stopped by Stojanovič. That came back to bite the visitors who could only watch on as Joe Hazeldine's shot from the point was deflected past Karjalainen by Mathieu Lemay on the 29-minute mark. Just over eight minutes later, a Jordan Kelsall shot as he came off the bench was deflected in front by Didrik Hendrandt to put the home side ahead with 2:29 left in the period.

With both teams knowing how much was on this game, period three was a nervy affair. Josh Tetlow took the game's first penalty but Clan were unable to convert, Philippe Sanche having their best chance when he opted to pass instead of shooting from an angle and no one was able to bundle the puck home from close range. Bryce Reddick picked up a double minor for a high stick with 10:58 to play and the Panthers came mighty close to extending their lead, only some good saves from Karjalainen and blocks in front of him kept Clan in things. With 2:33 left, Clan were rewarded for their penalty killing efforts as a trip rom Sanche was saved by Stojanovič, but he reacted quickest to the rebound to tie the game. 

There was no doubt that both teams were worthy of the point they picked up each as regulation ended all square. Overtime was tense with the 5,603-strong crowd well aware of what was on the game. Stojanovič stood on his head in the extra period to keep the Panthers in things, while Otto Nieminen and Anthony Luciani both came close for the Panthers. In the end, the game was decided off a Craighead interception along the wall that allowed Matt Barry to skate in and beat Stojanovič five-hole and win it for the visitors 3:35 into bonus hockey.

The bonus point moved Clan into a playoff place, although they have played a game more than Coventry who are a point below them. The Panthers can still mathematically make the playoffs, but they will need to beat Manchester twice at the weekend and hope other results go in their favour to do it.

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