Around The Rinks

TICKETS: The Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm welcome the Belfast Giants on Sunday the 1st October, here at SilverBlades Ice Rink Altrincham! Tickets can be ordered online, by calling the box office on 0161 926 8782, or in person at the box office.

Next up for Storm

Storm travel to face the Nottingham Panthers at the National Ice Centre on Saturday 30th September for a Challenge Cup match crucial to the team’s chances of qualifying for the next round. On Sunday, the Belfast Giants make their first trip of the season to the Storm Shelter in a top-of-the-table clash!

Nottingham stuttered their way through this weekend; they lost at home to the Braehead Clan before requiring the assistance of penalty shots to win away at the Guildford Spectrum.

Panthers got off to a great start against the Clan, Evan Mosey scoring at just 6:31, but the lead lasted less than two minutes as Mike Embach notched short-handed at 8:17. Josh Shalla restored the Panthers’ lead but it was all downhill from there, with goals from Matt Haywood and Adam Brace, together with a brace from Brendan Brooks, giving Clan a 5-3 win. Young British forward Ollie Betteridge scored the other Nottingham goal.

Former Guildford junior Brett Perlini got the Panthers off to a flyer on Sunday against the Flames, and a goal from Mark Derlago saw Nottingham with a 2-0 lead going into the final period. Guildford fought back with a goal from Liam Stewart, and for the second time in as many nights, the Flames scored with the extra man with seconds remaining to force overtime – this time through John Dunbar.

The overtime period drew a blank, though, and Panthers took the extra point in the shoot-out with both Raphael Bussieres and Josh Shall finding the back of the net. Stand-in Flames netminder Mike Will made an impressive 51 saves.

The Giants had a more impressive weekend, with a crowd-pleasing home-and-home double against the Sheffield Steelers. Belfast won 3-1 at the SSE Arena on Saturday, with all the goals coming inside the first 11 minutes. Dustin Johner, Cole Jarrett and in-form Sebastian Sylvestre gave Giants a 3-0 lead, and although Levi Nelson quickly pulled a goal back, that proved to be the end of the scoring.

On Sunday the Giants’ goalkeeping tandem kept Steelers at bay as Belfast won 2-0 at the Sheffield Arena. Stephen Murphy made 24 saves and Jackson Whistle added five saves of his own after joining the fray at 53:22 following an injury to Murphy. Colin Shields scored the game-winner at 27:43 and Darcy Murphy added the icing into the empty net with four seconds left on the clock.

Elite League round-up

Fife Flyers beat Coventry Blaze 2-0 in Saturday’s other league fixture. A tight contest was settled by power-play goals from Danick Gauthier and Liam Heelis either side of the second interval. Ian Young picked up an assist on both goals, and Andy Iles made 43 saves for his shut-out.

Edinburgh Capitals opened their league campaign on Sunday with the visit of the Braehead Clan to Murrayfield Ice Rink, but it was the visitors who claimed the spoils with goals from Tyler Scofield, Brendan Brooks and Landon Oslanski. Capitals pulled a goal back in the third period through Sergei Banashkov, but it proved to be no more than a consolation.

Challenge Cup round-up

After an 8-2 midweek thumping in Sheffield, a Saturday Challenge Cup home match against the Edinburgh Capitals proved to be the perfect tonic for Omar Pacha and the Dundee Stars. The Scottish rivals swapped late goals as the match finished 3-3 in regulation, and after seven missed penalty shots, Marc Olivier Mimar stepped up to score the winner and give the Stars the extra point.

Cardiff Devils found themselves haunted by the ghosts of seasons past as they left empty-handed from their Saturday trip to Milton Keynes Lightning. Former Devils players Guillaume Doucet (one goal and two assists) and Denny Kearney (two goals) inspired MK to a 5-2 win. Paul Phillips chipped in with two assists.

There was more good news for Lightning fans on Sunday, as their team completed a four-point weekend with seven goals at the Skydome against the Coventry Blaze. Kearney was again the hero, bagging a hat-trick and adding an assist for good measure. MK went behind to an early goal from Luke Ferrera but then added five goals without reply as the match finished 7-4.

Mid-week update

Unusually for a mid-week, there were three Wednesday night Elite League games.

Cardiff Devils bounced back from their home defeat to Storm by shutting out the Dundee Stars at the Dundee Ice Arena. Cardiff scored early through former Star Justin Faryna, and led 3-0 at the first interval with further goals from Matthew Myers and Patrick Asselin. Layne Ulmer added a fourth late on, and Ben Bowns made 23 saves for his shut-out.

Nottingham Panthers joined Storm on 8 points with a hard-fought and high-scoring win over in-form Belfast Giants at the National Ice Centre. Robert Farmer scored the decisive goal at 39:19 as Panthers won 5-4. Brendan Connolly had a goal and two assists for the Giants, while Panthers gave something for national team fans to cheers with four different British players on the score sheet.

At Ice Sheffield, Steelers had a lucky escape in a 4-3 win over the Milton Keynes Lightning. John Armstrong, having already leveled the match at 47:30, scored the decisive goal on a 5-on-3 power play with just 18 seconds remaining. Former Storm defenceman Paul Phillips had a goal and an assist for MK.

TICKETS: The Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm welcome the Belfast Giants on Sunday the 1st October, here at SilverBlades Ice Rink Altrincham! Tickets can be ordered online, by calling the box office on 0161 926 8782, or in person at the box office.