Panthers 4 Giants 1

Can’t complain about that, one game, two points, four for, one against and against another team expected to be challenging. Panthers were handed a great start as Giants netminder Stephen Murphy played the puck to Ross Dalgliesh who gleefully put the puck in the empty net. The lead was soon doubled as Cameron Mann scored on the powerplay. The Giants will perhaps consider themselves unlucky as they had the better of the opening exchanges but couldn’t find a way past St. Pierre who had a very good game.

The second followed a similar path. McAslan extended Panthers lead to 3-0 on the powerplay, only for Giants to get on the board less than a minute later through Colin Shields. 3-1 going into the third and Panthers scored early on the powerplay, Mann netting his second of the night. The crowd were lifted once again as Stephen Lee and Mark Morrison dropped the gloves, with Lee laying the smackdown on his fellow Brit!

I expected to see more of Giants hardman enforcer Sean McMorrow (apparently playing through injury) but he had probably two shifts in the first, none in the second and when he tried to cause some chaos at the Panthers bench in his one shift in the third he got a six minute penalty for his trouble! I know it’s early days but you do look at that and think why? What’s the point of having Murphy for the extra skating import and then waste it on one who hardly ices? Time will tell on that I guess.

As for the Panthers this was a good but not great performance, some of the passing was sloppy but I expect this is more to do with a new set of players trying to work each other out, I expect this will improve greatly over the coming weeks. Another pleasing aspect was the performance of the much maligned Jade Galbraith, who has come back slim and hungry. His two way play was excellent and it looks like we have have the Galbraith we all wanted last season. The defence looked solid and St. Pierre kept his critics from Wednesday night quiet with a confident display in the nets.

All in all nothing much to complain about, hockey is back which means Guinness, kebabs and hopefully a league title to go with the mild chilli sauce. Happy days.


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