Former Swedish international Andreas Jamtin made his ‘baptism of fire’ debut for Sheffield Steelers tonight, taking part in a memorable road win over their biggest rivals.
A veteran of games in the KHL and SHL, Jamtin was brought in to bring some energy to the ranks after a mixed start to the domestic season.
And he certainly played his part in the victory.
Steelers, hoping to secure a place in the quarter final of the Challenge Cup competition in which they were beaten finalists in last year, withstood some pressure but carved out a 12th minute lead from Matt Marquardt, his fifth point in four games.
Panthers, who became the first British club to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions Hockey League thanks to a 2-0 win over Finnish side TPS Turku on Tuesday, were behind by the same score five minutes later.
Robert Dowd, playing his 500th games in all EIHL competitions, celebrated that fact by scoring from a Levi Nelson set-up.
So despite outshooting Sheffield 23-9, Nottingham ended the first session 0-2 down.
That was a real confidence booster for a team shorn of injured Mathieu Roy and Davey Phillips.
A painful-to-watch bout between Zack Fitzgerald and Mathieu Gagnon had the crowd on its feet.
And it was finger-nail chewing time for the travelling fans as Steelers killed a 5-on-3 penalty - the exceptional Ervins Mustukovs and Jamtin defying the home side.
Having survived that, Dowd smashed in his second of the night, this time on the Power Play, to make it 3-1 to Sheffield.
Steelers continue to work intensively on every aspect of their game and could have increased their lead.
But it was a one-goal game again when Josh Shalla, Panthers’ Canadian left winger, struck at 52:57.
Brett Perlini and Mark Derlago went close to levelling, as the clock ticked away.
But Mustukovs and his skaters ensured the second win over Panthers of this season.
Saturday 7th October
Braehead Clan 1 Fife Flyers 7
Cardiff Devils 3 Belfast Giants 5
Dundee Stars 2 Edinburgh Capitals 7
Milton Keynes Lightning 3 Manchester Storm 2
Challenge Cup Group A
Nottingham Panthers 2 Sheffield Steelers 3
Challenge Cup Group C
Guildford Flames 5 Coventry Blaze 4 OT
Sunday 8th October
Coventry Blaze v Belfast Giants - 5.15pm
Fife Flyers v Guildford Flames - 6.30pm
Manchester Storm v Milton Keynes Lightning - 5.30pm
Challenge Cup Group A
Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan 5.00pm
Challenge Cup Group B
Edinburgh Capitals v Dundee Stars - 6.00pm