Credit: John Unwins
Flames finish season on a defeat
In the Playoff Final 3rd-4th place game, Nottingham Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening frame and never looked back on their way to a 9-5 win over the Flames.
The Panthers 1st period blitz began with a Mark Hurtubise goal at 7:23. At 10:07 Alexandre Bolduc had them up a pair before Josh Tetlow and Alex Guptill strikes over the next 2+ minutes had the home team in command 4-0 at the break.
Mike Will replaced Chris Carrozzi in the Flames net to start the middle set. Less than 3 minutes beyond re-start, Jamie Crooks opened his side’s account, but another Hurtubise strike near the midway mark re-stored Panthers 4 goal spread. Guptill’s 2nd of the contest made it 6-1 and Hurtubise completed his Hat Trick in the 36th minute before Kruise Reddick pulled one back shortly after that to send the clubs to the dressing room on the 7-2 score.
In the 47th minute, just after failing to connect on a powerplay, Guillaume Lepine extended Panthers lead to 6. Kevin King replied at 48:29 but Panthers hit back yet again through Justin Kovacs with the 9-3 goal about 2 minutes later. A little under 4 minutes from time Evan Janssen had the Flames 4th and seconds from close Erik Lindhagen had the final goal of the evening.
“This will be a rare occasion when I don’t talk about the game we have just played, but instead try to comment on the season as a whole,” said Paul Dixon.
“When we entered this league, I doubt anyone was looking for us to be in some of the positions we have found ourselves in, but a top 5 finish in the league, Cup final appearance and a trip to the last 4 in the playoffs this season after a very good opening term last year is something for us to really build on.”
“We already have several guys with contracts that continue at least into next season so we feel good about where we begin the re-tooling process, and we are looking forward to an exciting off season of recruitment.”
“All of our players and Flames staff are grateful for the support we receive, and we wish all our fans a great summer and look forward to getting back in front of you near the end of August.”