Nottingham Panthers have confirmed the signing of ex NHL forward, 33 year old, Canadian Alexandre Bolduc from German DEL side Kolner Haie.
Nottingham Panthers have confirmed that 26 year old, British trained Canadian forward Tyler VanKleef has signed with them on a short term try-out.
This season Panthers have a wealth of import forwards coming in, adding to the GB internationals Brett Perlini, Robert Farmer, Robert Lachowicz and Ollie Betteridge and Panthers Talisman Luke Pither, the only remaining import forward from last season’s mainly disappointing campaign. Rich Chernomaz has decided on his own chargers for the months ahead, forwards that he believes have the size, skill and skating ability to cut it in this ever growing league, the majority coming from the American minor leagues.
The first competitive match of the 2018/19 season occurred tonight as Nottingham Panthers came up against arch rivals Sheffield Steelers in the Challenge Cup.
The campaign has been advertised as the “New Era” for Panthers and on tonight’s showing it was just that. New entrance music, Paws playing on marked up Panthers drum and Thunderstruck by rock gods ACDC blaring out to a chorus of Panthers fans, ready, eager and raring to go.
Michael Garnett started in the net for Panthers, scratched from the line up were Joe Hazledine and Alex Guptill, the latter possibly injured although not confirmed at the time of writing.
The first period started off at a fast pace this something continued throughout the game. In the first 20 minutes Panthers passed the puck beautifully, playing with energy that put the Steelers on the back foot. Steelers were resolute in stopping the Panthers, when raining down on Jackson Whistles net until the end of the 10th minute. The deadlock was broken by Robert Farmer, who stole the puck from the Steelers defence and beat Whistle one on one.
The 2nd period started with intensity albeit slightly subdued to the first. The Steelers pushed Panthers harder in this period and were stopped by an in form Michael Garnett. On 26th minute Mark Hurtubise slotted home for Panthers to make it 2-0. Steelers kept up their intensity despite the score and on the 39th minute Garnett’s goal was breached, when the puck bounced behind on to the backboards and back in play towards Pitt who slotted home for the Steelers.
Panthers were the better side in the third and started with intensity like the first. Tommy Hughes took the puck on the right wing and fired a thunderous shot past Jackson Whistle’s top right corner within 3 minutes of the period.
Jaynen Rissling had been serving a penalty from the 41st minute however, moments after coming out the box, he was set up by Hurtubise and scored after going one on one with Whistle, scoring with a backhand, forehand, backhand move. This making the score 4-1.
At 53 minutes Brett Perlini made it 5-1 while Steelers were serving a penalty. Steelers then scored a consolation goal with 3 minutes to go however it would be just that.
A fantastic win for the Panthers against their nemesis and a fantastic birthday present for Rich Chernomaz on his 55th birthday. Onwards and upwards for Panthers as they start their Elite League campaign against Manchester Storm at home next Saturday.
Teams will push on and create plays with the hope of putting the puck in the back of the net, however when the play is with the opposition and you’re on the back foot you need decent men at the back. This season Panthers have brought in 4 new blue liners alongside testimonial man Steve Lee, returning Canadian Tim Billingsley plus youngsters Josh Tetlow and Joe Hazledine. Here we look at the new men protecting us.
Nottingham Panthers have confirmed that returning Blue Liner Gui Lepine, will take up the responsibility of Captain this year.
He will be assisted by Steve Lee and forward Kevin Henderson as Alternative Captains.
Lepine will wear the C for the first time this weekend as Panthers play thier arch nemesis the Sheffield Steelers.
Chernomaz has mentioned ‘multiple reasons’ for his decision. He highlighted the fact that he already has a dressing room full of leaders and in past seasons the players would pick the captain. However he has a different philosophy on this and made the decision himself.
When asked why Lee wouldn’t remain captain he said that he wanted him to spend the concentrating on his game, a new aggressive style of play he has asked him to play. He did say that he saw Lee as a future Captain who can learn from Lepine.
Lee is a fantastic D man, a Great Britain Hockey team mainstay and a very nice freindly person, however fans at times last season would say that he just didn’t have the presence on the ice as a captain. I’m for one happy that he is at least given the A and can build on his impressive performances in pre-season.
Lepine is a fan favourite, still one of the best defenders in the Elite League and will be a great captain. A vast amount of fans will be happy with his appointment
“Let’s go Panthers’
Netminders are the linchpin of any side hockey side, anyone that’s says they’re not, in my opinion, truly doesn’t know hockey.
A good netminder will keep you in the game and to be a success you need a decent one. Panthers through the years have had a fair few, from Playoff, Challenge & Continental Cup winning swede Mikka Wiikman to Chris Keward, between the sticks in the early 1980’s, the son of Panthers saviour Gary. They’re a vital cog and here at Chasing The Puck we have a great respect for them.
In this article I review our rosters netminders for the forthcoming campaign.