Braehead Clan 4 Nottingham Panthers 5 (After Overtime)
A tremendous game of end to end hockey ended with Panthers grabbing the extra point and breaking home hearts when Matt Francis fired in an overtime winner with just 3 seconds of the extra five minutes remaining.
Panthers now move into third in the standings, just a point behind Clan as both clubs chase down leaders Belfast.
The opening session saw frantic action at both ends but it was Panthers who were more clinical in front of goal and they scored twice late on to seemingly take control. Ex Clan star Robert Farmer shot his new side ahead on the powerplay at 14.44 and then at 17.11 it was Leigh Salters on hand to shoot the visitors 2-0 ahead.
The second period saw Clan take the game to their opponents and the home crowd were on their feet at 25.13 when Ash Goldie marked his return from injury by netting on the powerplay. Momentum had changed and again on the powerplay Joe Cullen levelled for the hosts at 29.36. The comeback was complete when at 33.22 Lee Esders beat Neil Conway with a fine shot and Clan led 3-2. However, Panthers regrouped and with only 14 seconds of the period remaining Petr Kalus tied it up.
Into period three and this unpredictable game went in Panthers favour again when Chris Capraro fired home at 44.43 on the powerplay but special teams were dominating at both ends and with their third powerplay strike of the night Goldie scored Clan’s fourth at 49.20.
Both sides had further opportunities after that but neither could settle it in regulation. Into overtime where Clan had the better of it but it was Panthers who broke away to see Francis fire home with 3 seconds remaining to claim the extra point.
Period Scores: 0-2, 3-1, 1-1, 0-1
Penalty Mins: Bra 4+4+6=14, Not 4+8+16=28
Powerplay: Bra 3/9, Not 2/7
Shots On: Kyle Jones 12+10+10+4=36, Neil Conway 12+15+13+1=41
Referee: Rab Cowan
Photo of Joe Cullen celebrating his goal against the Panthers with thanks to Al Goold: www.algooldphoto.com