“It was good to get the win. These games are tough to play. We didn’t play for gold but we wanted to end on a high note,” said the Panthers’ Great Britain national team forward Brett Perlini.
“We kept pushing right to the end, our line had a lot of chances and we got that one with one minute left so that was nice.”
Both teams had to hope that SonderjyskE Vojens would lose a point against Cracovia Krakow in the early game to make this a final for gold. Instead the host nation won and the game between the Nottingham Panthers and Neman Grodno became an affair for second place in the tournament.
The Belarusians looked like the potential winner after the first period. Artyom Kisly hit the back of the net already after 91 seconds and when Neman had three straight power plays, they capitalized on the third penalty with a goal from Roman Malinovski.
However, the Panthers were not ready to give up and came out stronger for the second period. After killing two more penalties early in the second, Jake Hansen brought Nottingham on the scoreboard at 6:38.
Another penalty helped Neman get back in the driver’s seat. With the penalty just expired, Kisly scored his second of the night to make it 3-1.
The game was still far from over. With Neman getting a penalty this time, Ryan Horvat scored Nottingham’s second goal when the man advantage just ended and four minutes later Samuel Herr tied the game at three.
A more disciplined game with less penalties and the teams giving each other less scoring opportunities characterized a third period that seemed to end scoreless. But the Panthers made everything clear without having to go to overtime. Brett Perlini sent a pass from behind the net back to Georgs Golovkovs, who scored the game winner with 70 seconds left in regulation time.