Sheffield Steelers were torn apart in a devastating late rally at Nottingham Panthers tonight.
The wheels came off late on, despite the fact Sheffield had remained in the game up until the last 10 minues.
The visitors had gone ahead through skipper Steve Goertzen on 10 minutes and outshot their hosts 15-9 in the early session.
David Clarke equalised as Steelers import Tim Spencer sat out a minor penalty, at 13;08.
Five minutes later it was 3-1 to Panthers, as Matt Francis and Brandon Brandon got on the scoresheet.
Sheffield re-grouped in the first interval and got back into it on 27 minutes, when Max Lacroix lit up the amp, assisted by Goertzen.
The next goal looked like it would be vital.
And sadly it went to the champions, right wing Chris Capraro scored at 38;31.
But it was game on, again, when the skilled, hard-working Lacroix got his second of the night, short-handed on 41 minutes. (4-3)
But for the third time tonight, Panthers build a two goal gap, d-man Chris Murray making it 5-3 with 10 minutes left.
At 55;20, they secured the win, Robert Lachowicz beating Frank Doyle.
Then it became embarrassing: Leigh Salters despatching a seventh, with two minutes to go.
It was a scoreline that underlined Nottingham’s present ascendancy over Sheffield.
*Over in East Yorkshire: Final Score: Hull Stingrays 3-5 Edinburgh Capitals.
Full weekend round up in Monday’s Star, Sheffield.