TWO GRIFFITHS ASSISTS HELP PANTHERS BOOK PLACE IN FINAL

British forward Owen Griffiths scored his first points of the tournament with two vital assists as Nottingham Panthers beat Coventry Blaze 4-1 in the Elite Series playoff semi-final second leg.

It secured a 6-1 aggregate victory for Tim Wallace’s side who will now face either Sheffield Steelers or Manchester Storm in the best-of-three final.

Griffiths got his first point as he set-up Austin Cangelosi at the backdoor after only 25 seconds as Panthers raced into an early lead.

Luke Ferrara’s shot took a deflection off Jackson Whistle’s glove and the puck looped into the path of Simen Andre Edvardsen who tied the game at one (13:00).

Panthers went to the first intermission with a 2-1 lead as Brett Perlini’s perfect pass fed Kevin Domingue for his ninth goal of the tournament (17:22).

Griffiths grabbed his second assist as he stretched to slide a loose puck to Cangelosi to score his second of the night and third of the tie (32:13).

Cangelosi jumped out the penalty box and broke away to complete his hat-trick at 54:27.

Sheffield and Manchester go head-to-head tomorrow night (7pm), with the Steelers leading 5-4 from the first leg.

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 – supported by Ice Hockey UK – 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: Karl Denham.