Steelers Edge Out Panthers In Ten Goal Thriller – Steelers 6:4 Panthers

Game Summary

The Steelers edged out a valiant effort from the Panthers tonight to maintain their 14 point lead at the top of the Elite League table.

Josh Nicholls shined with a 2+1 effort as Ciampini, Tansey, Juusola and Captain Robert Dowd made up the Steelers scorers.

The Steelers were made to work hard throughout the 60 minutes as the Panthers were resilient throughout and fought back on several occasions, but the Steelers had enough in the tank to make it 11 unbeaten as next up is a trip to the Spectrum tomorrow night to take on the Guildford Flames.

First Period [2-1]

A good solid period in the first from both teams with the Steelers edging the shot count by 16 to 9. A number of those efforts for the Steelers coming on two separate powerplays which the Steelers capitalised on both occasions for a 100% record in the first twenty.

The Panthers arguably starting the contest the brightest, quickly on the forecheck, particularly via Luciani who broke through the Steelers defences early but was unable to capitalise and Hazeldine who took the Steelers blue line and fired on Greenfield which took a second effort to cover up.

The tide started to turn in the Steelers favour in the 5th minute when Felix Pare snapped Sam Jones’ stick in two places and headed to the box. Some slick passing and the Steelers were on the scoresheet at (5.46) as Cormier fired in on Stojanovic and Nicholls was there to tip past the Nottingham netminder with Watling picking up the secondary assist.

The Panthers continued to keep up the pace and were back level at (9.21) through Westin Michaud with a tip of his own on a Mike Caruso effort from just inside the Steelers blue line.

Another penalty for the Panthers in 13th minute, this time Panthers goalscorer Michaud for cross-checking and the Steelers made the visitors pay with yet another tip, this time from Daniel Ciampini close in on Stojanovic from a Balmas feed. Saucerman this time the secondary assist.

And that was all she wrote for the first twenty as the Steelers took the one goal lead into the second period.

Second Period [3-2]

Another even period in the second with the shot count now standing at 28 to 20 in favour of the Steelers with both teams finding the back of the goal.

The Steelers were under the pump early in the period with Josh Nicholls sitting a bench minor penalty with the Steelers being called for too many men on the ice.

The Panthers evening up the contest at (25.09) just after the Steelers penalty expired with a drop pass to Logan Neilson which sent him clear into the high slot and he finished low blocker side on Greenfield with a nice ping off the post on the way in.

Two powerplay goals and a delayed penalty goal for the Steelers got them back infront at (28.26) as the officials arm was raised for a high stick to the face of Whistle from Despres, but as Despres put in another hit on Whistle behind the play, Tansey picked up the puck from Nevalainen and beat Stojanovic up high with a nice screen from Nicholls.

The Steelers looked set to bag their fourth short-handed on the Saucerman delay of game penalty as Vallerand picked up the puck at the Panthers blue line to turn Stojanovic inside out, but the long legs somehow got the pad out to deny Vallerand with the skate as he was also unable to put away the rebound as the Steelers took the one goal lead into the third period.

Third Period [6-4]

As the Steelers started to run away with the contest in the third, the Panthers fought back valiantly once again to make the Steelers sweat and grind it out for another two points on the league leading total.

The Steelers up by three within 10 minutes of the third period with an early goal at (41.39) by Mikko Juusola as the Panther’s remonstrated with the officials for a tripping call, but the Steelers put all their effort into the offence as they went two on one with Ciampini and Juusolsa combining well with a nice finish close in on Stojanovic.

The Steelers fifth goal coming at (49.14) after killing off a Saucerman tripping penalty. Josh Nicolls with his second goal and third point of the night after a scramble in front of Stojanovic’s goal which landed fortuitously at the skates of Nicholls and slotted it home with ease.

The Steelers possibly guilty of taking the foot off the gas slightly and the Panthers then made them pay with two quick goals of their own to bring the contest within touching distance once again.

Goals from Hugo Roy at (52.29) and Westin Michaud at (53.49) on another Saucerman penalty, this time for boarding made it a one goal contest. The boarding goal on Saucerman nearly lighting the touch paper between the two teams and Despres looked to stick up for his colleague but cooler heads prevailed.

With the Panthers continuing to press, the Steelers got their buffer thanks to the Captain, Robert Dowd, unassisted who reacted to a loose puck between the skate of Stojanovic and his post and did just enough to poke it home. Goal given after a quick review by the officials at (55.04).

The Steelers then did well to keep pressure towards the offensive zone to keep Stojanovic planted in his net and not allowing him off the ice for the extra attacker and were rewarded with another win to make it 11 unbeaten.

Awards & Table

After Westin Michaud was awarded with the Man of the Match for the Panthers, 2+1 for Josh Nicholls was good enough for the Steelers award and sailed away on another Eddy with his teammates.

With the Cardiff Devils coming out victorious over the Fife Flyers in a penalty shootout, the Steelers continue to maintain their 14 point lead at the top of the table with the Devils still holding a game in-hand.

Up Next

We are on the road tomorrow for the next two encounters. Tomorrow night is a trip down south to take on the Guildford Flames before we take on the Cardiff Devils next Saturday. We then return home on Sunday to take on the Coventry Blaze. 4pm face-off, see you there…!