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.