Stingrays 3 Panthers 6

Exactly how many ‘get out of jail free’ cards does Corey Neilson possess? After using one against Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday night, he used up another one last night in Hull as Panthers skated to a somewhat miraculous 6-3 victory, even more miraculous when you consider that at the end of the second Panthers were 3-1 down and looking a well beaten side!
The first ended scoreless, but Hull were on top for most of it. A rare Stevie Lee mistake almost saw the Rays go in front after just 11 seconds. KSP also had to be at his best to keep out two breakaways, which both lead to hooking minors for Nielson first, then Mario Larocque. A shot count 14-8 in Hull’s favour told it’s own story at the end of the first.
Panthers came into the game more at the start of the second and took the lead on the powerplay, Jade Galbraith tipping in Sean McAslan’s shot. Instead of powering on, Panthers sat back and Hull took up the slack, backed by their ever vociferous supporters. Jeff Glowa got the equaliser, skating coast to coast without a Panthers player touching him! Seconds later, Konstantin Kalmikov scored his obligatory goal against us as Hull took the lead. What followed was probably the most bizarre and embarrassing incident I think I’ve ever seen in all my years of watching hockey. A scuffle lead to Danny Meyers and Sylvain Cloutier dropping helmet and gloves, but instead of fighting both continued to mouth off at each other for around 30 seconds. Eventually both linesman got between them as it was unlikely a punch was going to be thrown! Utterly pathetic from both players, I’m sure both linesmen were shaking their heads as they escorted them to the box! Both got 2+10 for their trouble, I hope they are both still hanging their heads in shame today. Things then got worse for Panthers as they lost Larocque on a harsh 2+10 boarding call, leaving just Neilson, Lee and youngster Tom Norton on defence. Inevitably, 2-1 became 3-1 as KSP made his only mistake of the game letting Curtis Huppe’s shot through him. The period ended and we were in trouble, a shambles at the back and needing a miracle to get back in the game.
The miracle duly arrived, not one person there could have expected what transpired in the third period. Panthers pulled one back early, David Clarke finishing from Johan Molin’s set up. The pivotal moment of the game happened soon after, Lee Mitchell raced clear, but KSP made an awesome stop with his legs to keep it 3-2. Panthers never looked back from there, Clarke scored his second and the equaliser close in then just 12 seconds later Galbraith found the top corner to put Panthers into the lead. Galbraith and Clarke helped to set up the superb Cameron Mann to make it 5-3 before Sean McAslan finished the scoring to make the final score 6-3 to the Panthers.
So, an incredible turnaround and a four point weekend, but I’m still wondering how we did it! To see how we did do it, the game will be on Sky on Friday night.


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