Nottingham Panthers burst out with 3 goals in the space of less than 5 minutes in period 1 then cruised the rest of the way to a 5-1 win and a wide aggregate lead after leg 1 of the Cup Quarter Final.
Just under 10 minutes into the 1st, Sam Herr on the powerplay helped Panthers to a lead and it got worse from there for the visitors when Brett Bulmer scored shorthanded at 11:24 and a 15th minute strike, Herr’s 2nd of the contest, had Nottingham in a 3 goal lead through 20 minutes.
Flames got one back early in the 2nd with an Ian Watters conversion of a John Dunbar feed, but Panthers replied less than a minute later when Brett Perlini batted one in from close range to re-store the 3 goal spread, and the difference remained on the board as the middle frame came to a close.
Hope to close the gap a bit before returning home for leg 2 faded when Jon Rheault scored on an early 3rd period powerplay to bolster a 5-1 Panthers win and their 4 goal aggregate lead heading to leg 2 December 18th on Spectrum ice.
“In the 2 leg aggregate events you obviously hope to avoid exactly what has happened here which is to be in a multi goal hole heading to leg 2, but that is the massive challenge set for us now,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“We get back to league play right away here with a double in Scotland over the weekend and we have to put this situation on pause before coming back to it next week.”
“We will do what we can to put in a couple of good efforts in Glasgow and Fife, Saturday and Sunday, then get back home and try to do our best to claw our way back into the Cup series.”