FOUR-POINT NIGHT FOR GB FORWARD KIRK

Great Britain forward Liam Kirk had a four-point night but was on the losing side as Nottingham Panthers beat Sheffield Steelers 5-4 after overtime in the Elite Series.

Kirk assisted on both of Tanner Eberle’s opening-period goals – the first coming after only 12 seconds which was followed by his second at 7:11.

Kirk then broke free from the blueline to turn goalscorer for his ninth of the Elite Series (10:39) to make it 3-0, before Brett Perlini’s powerplay goal cut the deficit at 14:51.

Austin Cangelosi scored on the breakaway (29:22) and Ollie Betteridge fired in from the top of the right circle following a pass from Robert Lachowicz as Nottingham drew level (39:04) at the second intermission.

Eberle completed his hat-trick on the rebound – again assisted by Kirk – at 43:53, but Panthers hit back again through Dominic Talbot-Tassi’s powerplay goal (48:19).

Nottingham won it 17 seconds into overtime when Cangelosi fed Christophe Boivin to secure his side the extra point.

In the day’s first game, Coventry Blaze beat Manchester Storm 6-3 in topsey-turvey nine-goal thriller.

The Blaze had a two-goal lead at the end of the first period as Ross Venus – named in a GB World Championship squad for the first time since 2016 on Thursday – put Coventry ahead on the powerplay (6:32), while Tristan Keck’s short-handed goal made it 2-0 at 19:01.

Manchester roared back in the second session with Dallas Ehrhardt (29:46) and Jacob Lundell Noer (33:47) on target, before Ben Lake netted short-handed at 38:59 to put the Storm ahead.

Simen Andre Edvardsen drew Coventry level (49:35) and David Clements, who received his first senior GB call-up this week, put the Blaze in-front.

Keck completed his hat-trick with goals at 54:44 and 59:52 (empty net) – both assisted by Mike Hammond – as Coventry won the game with four goals in the third period.

The regular-season action is completed tomorrow as Nottingham face Coventry (2pm) and Manchester play Sheffield (7pm).

Four teams – Coventry Blaze, Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers – are competing in the 2021 Elite Series at the National Ice Centre.

The event has been organised under the government’s Elite Sport Guidance, with regular testing and a full covid-19 protocol in place.

The tournament is forming part of Great Britain’s preparations for the upcoming World Championship in Latvia.

All games are available to watch on a live stream – click here for more details and to purchase the webcasts.

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.