Cardiff Devils 2 - 3 Nottingham Panthers
Faceoff: 19:00 - 08/12/12
Despite a spirited performance from the short-benched team, the Cardiff Devils fell to a penalty shoot-out defeat to the Nottingham Panthers.
In a tight and physical first period, the visitors had the better of the opening stages before the Devils slowly grew into the game. Mac Faulkner came closest to opening the scoring when his shot hit the crossbar, before a fantastic save from Osaer denied Nottingham.
A Devin Didiomete penalty at the end of the first period meant the Devils started the second period short-handed. Despite the numerical disadvantage, Stuart MacRae intercepted a loose pass and raced in on net to slide the puck home for the opener.
The goal was just reward for the Devils, but the lead lasted barely two minutes. Pat Galivan squeezing the puck in from the tighest of angles for the equaliser. Cardiff were still creating lots of chances but failing to find the vital final touch, and it took another Nottingham powerplay for them to regain the lead.
Once again the Devils penalty killers forechecked the Panthers into a mistake, allowing Cardiff to pass the puck around the Nottingham zone before Faulkner fired the puck into the roof of the net. It looked like the Devils would push on for the win but just before the end of the period the Panthers equalised against the run of play. Guy Lepine's wrist-shot from the blue line somehow avoided everyone before sneaking in at the far post.
Cardiff went looking for a winner in the third period and thought they had done so with two minutes remaining. Craig Kowalski couldn't hold the initial shot and when he dropped the puck Devin Didiomete appeared to poke it over the line, only for referee Mike Hicks to disallow it.
Cardiff dominated overtime but once again they just couldn't find a way past Kowalski, whilst the Panthers appeared happy to take it to penalties.
Chris Blight scored with his first opportunity, only for Matt Francis to score and take it to sudden death. After Blight, Faulkner, Werner and Ling all missed, Francis scored again and when Kowalski saved MacRae's effort it meant the extra point was heading back to Nottingham.