Flames had a lead through 40 minutes, but a pair of unanswered Nottingham Panthers strikes in the final stanza lifted the visitors to a 4-3 win.
Panthers got the jump on the scoring a little over 5 minutes from period time when Ollie Betteridge beat Kevin Lindskoug for the visitor’s 1-0 lead. They added another at 16:55, but a reply by Brett Ferguson exactly a minute later during 4 on 4 cut the deficit in half ahead of the 2nd set.
Just beyond the game’s midway mark, Flames brought it back level through Jordan Cownie, and they took their first lead of the contest 56 seconds from break with a John Dunbar goal.
At 46:30, Panthers pulled even when they converted a powerplay on the back of a Robbie Baillargeon strike. He added the winner with his 2nd of the evening in the 57th minute and Spectrum’s men were unable to knot it late with an extra skater.
“I can only say what we have been saying for a while now, and that is that I can’t fault the guys for their work ethic and their desire to be successful,” said Paul Dixon, “but it definitely doesn’t take the sting out of it for any of us.”
“This game was winnable by either team, and we did a good job to get back into it after being down a couple late in the 1st period.”
“Something has to break our way eventually, and we know that, so the trick now is to keep our heads up, keep positive and keep plugging away until that happens.”
“The thing we cannot do is get down on ourselves despite the ease with which that could happen at this stage. We get another chance at it tomorrow night, and we have had some success in Sheffield earlier this season so we are going to go in there believing we can make something happen, and we will do everything we can to make that a reality.”