A tough night on home ice for the Flames had them behind by 7 goals with more than a period to play, and the visiting Nottingham Panthers moved on to deliver an 8-3 defeat to Spectrum’s men.
Less than 5 minutes into the contest, former Guildford Jr. skater Brett Perlini opened the Panthers account and Tommy Hughes doubled the gap inside the back half of the frame.
Early in the 2nd Ollie Betteridge collected a loose puck on a scramble near the net and fired past Travis Fullerton to make it a 3 goal difference. The one-sided score extended from there with another Betteridge strike at 27:12, and an Alex Guptill follow up shortly thereafter moved the teams 5 goals apart. In the 35th minute, Marek Tvrdon widened the chiasm to a 6. With Mike Will taking the net in relief of Fullerton at that stage, Mark Hurtubise made it 7 against no reply at 37:05. The Flames finally countered with one of their own when Kruise Reddick slammed home a John Dunbar feed 100 seconds from break.
Luke Pither got that one back at 43:33, but Calle Ackered on the powerplay and Erik Lindhagen after that pulled it a bit closer and gave the home fans a bit of cheer before the close of the evening.
“No question, that was a tough night for us,” explained Paul Dixon.
“We didn’t have it tonight and the Panthers came at us with everything they had right from puck drop.”
“One might look at the score and wonder about the goaltending, but that was not the problem. This was not about 1 or 2 guys not performing their best, this was a loss as a group.”
“I don’t think we have had a game quite like that since we joined this league. It is a difficult situation for athletes when you get to a point where there is still a large part of game left and you know you are facing a deficit that is too big to realistically recover.”
“All you can do is try to play hard. We showed a bit more in the 3rd, and managed to get a bit of offence so on a night with a lot of negatives, we can find something to hang onto as we head to Coventry tomorrow night.”