Last gasp Panthers rob brave Phoenix

Wednesday, 22nd October 2003

A last minute equaliser for the Nottingham Panthers robbed a brave Manchester Phoenix of a victory on the road last night as the two teams fought out a 65-minute tie.

Phoenix missing four players through injury and sickness were further hampered by the loss of key defenceman Jeff Sebastian after 40 minutes. But having had a David Kozier blast strike the crossbar in the first period, Phoenix gained the lead on a superb 30th minute breakaway strike from Mike Lankshear. The short-benched Phoenix then battled every inch of the way with head coach Rick Brebant forced back into playing to keep the numbers up.

Netminder Jayme Platt faced a hefty 41 shots as the Panthers laid siege to the Phoenix goal and it took until 59.03 before his resistance was final broken. Even in overtime the Phoenix battled superbly to kill a penalty on David Kozier and take away a fully deserved point from the overtime tie.

Rick Brebant commented, “We came here with a game plan and the players stuck to it superbly, that was a great performance considering the loss of four players and with two more struggling with flu symptoms. I haven’t skated in over three weeks and right now I feel tired, but overall very happy with the way we played tonight. We battled hard throughout – these guys are warriors. They will rest up Wednesday and we’ll see what shape we’re in for the weekend – I hope to have at least two guys back for the road trip to Sheffield and hopefully everyone for Sunday at home against Basingstoke.”