December 24, 2011

Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants Win Again - Uk Round Up Friday 23rd December

The Christmas period started in earnest on Friday night. Belfast and Nottingham were both in league action whilst fellow title chasers Sheffield played their final Challenge Cup group stage game in a winner takes all match up with Cardiff.

Challenge Cup

Sheffield Steelers 4 Cardiff Devils 4

Sheffield and Cardiff both knew that this game could be their last in the Challenge Cup. Cardiff however did have the slight advantage of knowing they only had to avoid defeat to be assured of a place in the semi final.

The first period was an edgy affair that ended goalless but the second period saw the game come back to life. First Jeff Legue put the Steelers ahead before Smith and Pierce put the Devils on top. Legue however got his second and Colt King put the York side back on top before the end of the second.

The Devils needed to score in the third and came out firing as Stuart MacRae levelled up the scores. MacRae’s second goal came on the 51st minute as the Devils lead again and would prove to be crucial as Mike Ramsay equalised for the Steelers with 2 minutes to go but neither he nor the Steelers could break the deadlock.

The draw meant that the Devils go into the semi final and face the Belfast Giants. The second semi final will be between the Nottingham Panthers and the Braehead Clan.

Edinburgh Capitals 0 Belfast Giants 6

Belfast were on top form on Friday and boosted by the signing of fan favourite and home town lad Mark Morrison.

The Giants dominated with a hat trick from Daryl Lloyd and strikes from Keefe, Awada and Pelle in a game that saw the Giants add 15 shots on Nathan Craze in 15 minutes during the second period.

The win keeps the Giants on top in the title race whilst the defeat for the Capitals means they lose ground on Braehead in the race for sixth.

Nottingham Panthers 6 Dundee Stars 4

With the Steelers in action in the Challenge Cup Nottingham knew they could take second spot in the league table with sides due to meet twice over the festive period.

Despite the Panthers building up a 2 goal lead in the first period the Stars were not out of the game as Turner and Konkle levelled the scores. The Panthers however restored their 2 goal advantage going into the third period through Beauregard and David Clarke.

The Stars started lively in the third period and halved the deficit although Benedict’s goal kept the Panthers two ahead. There was a nervy finish though as Konkle made it a one goal game with 30 seconds left. However there was just enough time for Clarke to complete the win with an empty net goal.

With that defeat the Stars are still looking for a first league win under new coach Brent Hughes. However the Panthers move above the Steelers into second in the league table with the win. David Clarke’s two goal night also sees him tied for the Elite League all time goal scoring record with 229 goals equalling Adam Calder.

Neil Tucker

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