December 26, 2011

Nottingham Panthers Beat Up on Sheffield Steelers (UK Round Up 26th December)

Panthers Take First Blood in the Christmas Derby Home and Home

Boxing Day in the UK is a traditional sporting day. Across the country fans and players travel the length and breadth to follow their side taking full advantage of the holiday. Whilst I am off to watch Derby County play Leeds United in second tier soccer match there were 6 hockey games.

These included the first of two derby games between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers. The game in the NIC on Tuesday was sold out 2 weeks ago and tonight’s game at the Motorpoint was expecting a bumper crowd as well.

Nottingham Panthers 5 Sheffield Steelers 3

With Nottingham taking advantage of Sheffield’s cup tie on Friday night the Panthers moved above the Steelers into second place in the table. However the Steelers do have games in hand but a win would see them jump back above their archrivals as they hunt down the Giants.

After a delayed start due to the larger crowd it was first blood to the Panthers however as they came back from a goal behind in the first period. Despite a brace from Jason Hewitt the Panthers scored twice in the third period with Rob Lachowicz and Jeff Heerema’s empty netter to take the spoils.

The Panthers win puts them 4 points clear of the Steelers and keeps them second place no matter what happens when the sides meet at the NIC on Tuesday. The Steelers although disappointed with loosing to their biggest rivals know they are still in the title race with all their games in hand.

Belfast Giants 7 Braehead Clan 2

The Giants made the short hop across the North Sea to Glasgow looking to take full advantage of their main rivals for the league title playing each other.

After a tight first period the Giants loosened up scoring 3 times in 10-second period minutes to take a 5-2 lead going into the third. A further 2 goals from Daryl Lloyd sealed the win and his hat trick in the final period.

The win and the result in Sheffield will please Giants coach Doug Christiansen as his side remain in pole position. The Clan however will be upset to be dominated so much on their own ice but know it is the games against the teams around them that are more important.

Edinburgh Capitals 2 Dundee Stars 4

The Capitals had had a difficult in the Odyssey last time out but knew that this was a game they needed to win to keep a challenge going for a high playoff ranking. For the Stars though this was a must win game. Without a win in the league under new head coach Brent Hughes the Stars playoff hopes are vanishing quickly unless they can get some wins against the teams around them.

Despite scoring the opening goal the Capitals patchy form returned as the Stars showed what they hitherto had only shown in glimpses. Mazur and Konkle scoring in the second to cap a strong period that saw the Stars take a 4 – 1 advantage.

Hartmann cut the advantage to 2 in the third period. But the Stars weathered the fight back to take a valuable win.

Brent Hughes will be delighted to get a first win in the league. And it is a big one as the Stars look to press on towards the playoffs. The Capitals however will be worried at their lack of form in the last two games.

Fife Flyers 1 Cardiff Devils 4

Fife head coach Todd Dutiaume had asked his team to push on for the win after their heroics in their overtime defeat to the current Champion Sheffield Steelers last weekend.

The Devils though took the early lead before Mike Hamilton levelled the scores up as once again the Flyers showed they cannot be taken for granted. The Flyers even outshot the Devils through the first period.

It wasn’t until the third period that the Devils got hold of the game with 3 goals in less than 7 minutes. Despite mounting a response the Flyers could not hit the net again and the game went to the Welshmen.

What would have been forecast an easy Devils victory before the game was anything but. And the Cardiff faithful who stayed away from this game missed a tight affair and a score line that somewhat flatters them.


There were just two games in the English Premier League including current league leaders Guildford playing their game in hand. Basingstoke too were looking to capitalise on their nearest rivals not in action as they took on a revived Peterborough side facing their former goalie.

The Flames did manage to get the 2 points against bottom side Telford but they were made to work for it. After a goalless first period the Tigers hit the Flames with 3 goals in 10 minutes but it was the home side showed why they are a championship contender as they fought back with 2 goals in the third to level the scores and force overtime. Hitting the overtime winner to take 2 points and increase the gap at the top of the table.

In Basingstoke though the Phantoms came out on top with a commanding performance showing they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Telford Tigers 4 Guildford Flames 5 (Aot)
Peterborough Phantoms 5 Basingstoke Bison 2

Neil Tucker

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