Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Panthers late show sickens Courtenay

Ed Courtenay described last night's loss to the Nottingham Panthers as 'gut-wrenching' as the Belfast Giants saw what they thought was a guaranteed point snatched away from them 25 seconds from the end of the game.

With overtime looming after one of the tightest games of the season the Panthers raced up the ice and after a couple of fortunate bounces Matt Myers sent the puck past Stevie Lyle and into the net.

It was a cruel blow for the Giants as they suffered a 60 minute defeat at home for the first time since mid-November.

"It was gut-wrenching really," said Courtenay.

"Nobody was happy with the first period, but from then on we played a really solid game.

"Our powerplay didn't click tonight, it was the first time in something like 12 games that we didn't score on the powerplay, but when a mistake causes a goal it magnifies it.

"Players are on the ice in the last minute for a reason and rather than getting scored on they really should be looking to get a goal.

"Guys have responsibility at that time in a game. One mistake led to another, all of a sudden there was a two-on-one and the puck was in the back of the net."

The downfall for the Giants was their inability to find a way past in-form goaltender Tom Askey, despite having the better of the chances in the game.

Patrick Wallenberg had put the Panthers 1-0 up at the end of the first period, before Trevor Johnson's short-handed leveller early in the second.

Courtenay hit the post himself in the second period and a 68-second 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity in the third came and went without the Giants getting the goal that may well have seen them go on to take the two points.

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