Devils 3 Panthers 5

My first trip to the blue tent and what a great trip it was. Very easy, pleasant drive, a nice meal in the nearby Harvester and a Panthers victory. I love away trips like these.

We were stood in the corner by the referee’s room. We got in early to get a good spot, however 15 minutes before face off a ‘gentleman’ came over to us and started berating the female of our group as we were standing in his and his friends ‘spot’. We explained that we had bought standing tickets and were entitled to stand there. He then went away saying that his ‘friends’ wouldn’t be as ‘polite’ as he was. I looked down and didn’t notice ‘Reserved’ painted on the floor, he went an stood a few feet away. Thankfully the other Devils fans were far more welcoming, the two stewards/first aiders near us (a male & female, I think they may have been partners) chatted with us all night and were an absolute credit to the club.

The first period started with a bang as Brad Voth and Kevin Bergin dropped the gloves at the opening face-off. Voth got an easy win, however Bergin got the better of the first period by scoring the opener from a tight angle. Bruce Richardson made it 2-0 when he got his stick onto a centering pass during a period of four on four play and that was the score at the first interval, well deserved as Panthers were the better team.

Devils came back into it in the second and pulled one back through Voth during a scramble by Michel Robinson’s net. The Devils continued to have the better of the play, but we restored our two goal lead through Matt Myers on the powerplay. The incident of the period was Lee Cowmeadow dislocating his elbow. I didn’t see the incident as it was in a portion of the ice that I couldn’t see from where I was stood. Some Devils fans have accused Dan Tessier of butt ending Cowmeadow, however the lack of any Devils players seeking retribution after the incident suggests it was an accident. Cowmeadow came off the ice under his own steam after spending several minutes motionless on the ice. As he came past me he was a light grey colour, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone that colour! Inexplicably, an ambulance still hadn’t arrived when the game finished!

Devils started the third period strongly, Voth scored a superb individual goal early on to make it 3-2. Panthers restored the two goal cushion on the powerplay when Dan Tessier ripped one in from the right, shortly after Matt Myers scored his second and Panthers fifth with the best goal of the night, a defensive error allowed him to skate in one on one and he simply undressed Devils netminder Peter Aubry with some fantastic stick handling. Devils pulled one back through Mike Prpich, but with Phil Hill and Jay Latulippe serving 10 minute misconducts and Jason Silverthorn also off injured (apparently a slash by Tessier) they didn’t have the manpower to mount a serious challenge to the scoreline.

Referee Dean Smith has come in for an awful lot of criticism for his handling of the game from the Devils fans who seem to think we got away with murder! Personally I though he was pretty terrible for both sides, and missed a lot of incidents, some right under his nose! Gerard Adams also wasn’t too pleased with Smith’s performance judging by the way he marched across the ice at the end of the game and waited by the referee’s room for Smith! Corey Neilson also went into the referee’s room after the game to join Adams. I think there could be some videos being sent after this one!

It was a great performance by Panthers in a very chippy game, and thankfully we didn’t let ourselves be intimidated. The atmosphere in the rink and the size of the Devils makes the tent a difficult place to come away with points, so this was a very pleasing victory. Finally a word about Brad Voth. The guy was immense in this game, logging a great deal of ice time and being a true leader for his team. I would love to see him in a Panthers shirt.


1 Response to “Devils 3 Panthers 5”

  1. 1 Iceraider January 26, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your first visit to the tent. You’ll have to come over and say hello next time you’re down. Glad the “gentleman” didn’t ruin the game for you!

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