Zack Phillips the hero again as Nottingham Panthers beat Guildford Flames


Zack Phillips was the hero in overtime for the second home game in a row as Nottingham Panthers beat Guildford Flames, 2-1.

Last Saturday, Phillips got the decisive goal in a 4-3 victory against a determined Milton Keynes Lightning side.

The Elite League’s other recent addition proved just as stern a test, as Guildford more than played their part at the Motorpoint Arena.

Both goaltenders were outstanding as Panthers’ Patrick Galbraith and Flames’ Chris Carrozzi picked up the man of the match awards for their respective teams.

Ollie Betteridge gave Panthers and early lead but former Coventry Blaze forward Liam Stewart equalised in the second period, before Phillips secured the extra point 53 seconds into overtime.

Panthers were without head coach Corey Neilson and forward Mark Derlago with both on compassionate leave.

Both men have returned to Canada to allow Neilson to attend his father’s funeral and Derlago to be at his father’s side as he battles serious illness.

With player/assistant coach David Clarke on the ice, Rick Strachan and Dan Green took charge of the Panthers’ bench.

David Clarke helped lead the team in the absence of Corey Neilson

Guildford were without first choice goalie Brian Stewart, but his back-up, Carrozzi, made a fine start to the game with a pair of saves in the first minute.

Panthers’ early dominance told after 2.51 when Betteridge got his second goal of the season as he put away a rebound from Robert Lachowicz’s shot.

The hosts will have been disappointed they could not have gone on to open up a more commanding lead in the rest of the period.

Mathieu Brisebois and Alexander Mokshantsev both went close as Panthers threatened to run away with it in the first five minutes.

Yann Sauve was the next to threaten as Panthers looked to make the most of having an extra man on a charge up the ice, but he was unable to finish the move.

Mathieu Gagnon then blasted over before the hosts went on the power play. At times this season power plays have taken all momentum out of Panthers’ play.

Here, they produced a loose two minutes and to their credit, Guildford rallied.

Galbraith had enjoyed a quite start to the game, but he made two saves against a shorthanded opponent before the Flames hit the post.

He then reacted well to deny Kruise Reddick and Carl Akered. Panthers did finish the period on the front foot, but it was 1-0 at the first break.

Robert Lachowicz STORY: SPORT: ICE HOCKEY: Nottingham Panthers v Guildford Flames Elite Ice Hockey League The National Ice Centre / Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, UK 16th September 2017 – 19:00 PHOTOGRAPHER: Joseph Raynor

The second half of the second period also saw Guildford chasing a goal. Galbraith was sharp again to keep out John Dunbar, but it was 1-1 eventually.

Stewart got the goal after 37.09. Galbraith was then left reeling by a blow from a Flames player, but he was able to continue with the intermission following soon after.

Into the third period and Ian Watters and Jesse Graige would have put the visitors into the lead, but for Galbraith again being on his toes.

Panthers had chances too, through Dan Spang and Briesbois, but the sides could not be separated heading into the final ten minutes.

It was the home side who were cranking up the pressure with Raphael Bussieres hitting the post.

It went to overtime and just as was the case against Milton Keynes, Phillips was the hero.

He got the game-winning goal 53 seconds into overtime after good work by Mokshantsev.

After the match, the Arena was evacuated, but only as a safety drill with spectators having being warned in advance.



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