Nottingham Panthers 4 (11) Fife Flyers 6 (8) - Challenge Cup quarter-final second leg
Fife Flyers won in Nottingham for the third time this season on Wednesday night, but it was not enough to keep them in the Challenge Cup.
The Kirkcaldy side claimed a 6-4 victory in the second leg of the quarter-final tie, but they still exited the competition on aggregate score following the 7-2 reverse on home ice in the first leg last month.
Flyers were missing the injured Chris Auger, while they lost another centreman, Scott Fleming, to a game misconduct for kneeing near the end of the second period, after his challenge on Chris Higgins resulted in the Panthers’ winger being helped from the ice with an injury.
By the end of an entertaining first period Panthers were 10-5 up on aggregate as the teams shared six goals.
Robert Farmer gave Panthers the lead on 6.25 but Fife were on level terms 25 seconds later as Matt Reber fired past Mattias Modig.
Flyers then took the lead as Bobby Chaumont pounced on a rebound to make it 2-1 on the night after 9.37.
Panthers hit straight back when Cody Wild left Kevin Regan with no chance after 10.15 for 2-2, 9-4 overall.
The hosts regained the lead on the night on 14.09 through Chris Lawrence, and the first period goal-fest was rounded off as Jordan Fulton continued his recent scoring streak, notching his 17th goal of the season, and Flyers’ third on the night, on 18.35.
Panthers swapped netminders for the start of the second period with Craig Kowalski taking over from Modig, and after a lull in proceedings, the hosts went back in front with Wild’s second of the night on 34.28.
Fife levelled again with a powerplay goal on 38.54 as Ned Lukacevic made it 11-6 on aggregate, 4-4 on the night.
It looked like the tie was over but Fife moved to within three goals with a spirited third period fight back.
They went 5-4 up on the night on 42.55 while still killing Fleming’s five-minute major as Chaumont broke away to fire past Kowalski.
Chaumont’s 2+2 contirbution was enough to put him joint top of the EIHL scoring chart on 52 points, alongside Sheffield’s Mathieu Roy.
Chris Wands then put Flyers 6-4 up on 45.02 but despite some late pressure, the visitors were unable to reduce the aggregate score further and Nottingham progressed to the semi-finals.
Panthers scorers: Wild 2+0, Farmer 1+0, Lawrence 1+0, Boxill 0+1, Lachowicz 0+1, Benedict 0+1
Flyers scorers: Reber 1+1, Chaumont 2+0, Wands 1+2, Fulton 1+0, Lukacevic 1+1, Suoraniem 0+2, Haines 0+1
Shots on goal: Panthers 40; Flyers 37.
Penalties: Panthers 10; Flyers 29.