Panthers 7 Bison 3

The scoreline totally belies the game I’ve just been to see. As this is the Sky game this week, a piece of advice, don’t bother watching until the third period, because the first two were terrible!

Panthers handed debuts to new signings Corey LeClair and Jurij Golicic while Steven Fone replaced the injured Kevin Reiter in goal for the Bison, who only came with 12 skaters. There had been much debate on The Cage after it was revealed that Geoff Woolhouse would start the game in net for the Panthers, and this was confirmed as the number 20 took up his position as the teams came out. To be fair, he had little to do in the first, however he did have to thank Corey Neilson for stopping one on the line that had beaten him. Panthers took a very early lead in the first, Bruce Richardson scoring from close range. The rest of the first was more or less like a constant powerplay for us, but the score stayed the same even though we outshot the Bison 18-6.

The second was a disgrace to end all disgraces! Several tw0 on one and two on none rushes were given up by the Panthers, which saw the Bison equalise and then take the lead on a powerplay. Panthers were stinking out the NIC, and several of the crowd made their feelings known by booing. At this point it looked as if the two points were going to be a big ask.

Into the third and it was like a different team had come out to play. Once Corey LeClair scores a debut goal the floodgates opened. Panthers played fast, simple hockey and were 6-2 up by the 48th minute of the game with further goals by Levers, Bergin and Clarke with two. Bison pulled one back but Nick Toneys added another on the powerplay at the death to make it 7-3, secure the two points and close the gap on leaders Sheffield to five points.

However, the game left me with several concerns. The second period was the worst I have seen from the Panthers this season, too many players looked as if they didn’t give a rats ass! The main concern for me though was starting the game with our back up netminder. We are still in with a slim chance of the title, so why are we starting with Woolhouse? For those who think I am being harsh, let me finish with this question. How many league games has Dan Green, back up for the table topping Steelers, started this season? I’ll give you a clue, the answer is less than one.


2 Responses to “Panthers 7 Bison 3”

  1. 1 grumpyminer January 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t think it was that they didn’t give a rat’s ass. I think a lot of it was borne of frustration from the lack of goals in the first period. Perhaps, the game plan was wrong. After Corey had laid into them they seemed more fired up and started to forecheck and ‘get in their faces’. I haven’t seen a Panthers team ‘drive the net’ like that in a long while. Perhaps they should start each game with a rollocking.

  2. 2 Stuart January 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I wasn’t fortunate(?) enough to see the game but I thought that the coach’s comments afterwards were quite concerning. He really seems a little nonplussed in how to bring out some consistency from an undoubtedly useful bunch of players and I don’t feel it’s his fault.

    His description of having to personally defend a three-on-one, a couple of two-on-ones and a breakaway was worrisome. That sounded so unprofessional by the players.

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