Travis Fullerton had a 21 save shutout to make sure that Jamie Crooks’ goal just 72 seconds from Overtime would hold up for a win that ended as a 2-0 count thanks to a TJ Foster empty netter just 11 ticks from the close of the evening at Nottingham Panthers.
The visiting Flames outshot the Panthers 10-7 across the opening 20 minutes of play, but Patrick Munson for the home team and Fullerton for their opponents were each perfect on their share of the opportunities as the clubs began the middle set still on a scoreless draw.
Spectrum’s men added on another 16 shots against just 7 replies in the middle stanza, but other than trading a minor penalty each, the score was more of the same as the teams went to a winner take all 3rd still looking for the game’s first goal.
Late in the 3rd the Flames best chance for a lead was a 12 second 5 on 3 manpower differential. Panthers killed that off then followed up by disposing of the remainder of the 2nd infraction, but just 25 seconds after Panthers returned to even strength, and with a tiebreaking period looming, Crooks made the difference ahead of the add on as Panthers worked to pull even.
“We were ready to play tonight, and I believe that we had the better share of the play for the majority of the evening,” concluded Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“As we know that doesn’t always translate to a win, but at the end our perseverance paid off with a timely goal that grabbed the points, and it is a good feeling to get out of there with that success.”
“It certainly keeps it exciting with a top 4 table finish still available to us as we head into the close of the regular season tomorrow night.”
“I know these guys have a lot of pride, and as good as we felt we were last year, to finish a couple of spots up on where we were would be a real achievement. That is what we are going for tomorrow night on home ice when Dundee Stars make their visit.”