Nottingham Panthers 1-2 Sheffield Steelers (5-3 agg)

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Sheffield Steelers took a shock 2-0 lead at Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup final second leg tonight - but they couldn’t complete their Mission Impossible.

Panthers, leading 4-1 from the first leg, did enough to win the trophy for the fourth year running.

The champions didn’t have it all their own way though.

They went on a 5-on-3 power play and placed Steelers under immense pressure.

But Steelers killed the penalty and then went ahead on the night, Lee Esders scoring at 17;38.

The visitors had been outshot 11-9 in that early session but had cut the overall Panthers advantage to two goals.

And Notts’ overall lead was stripped to one when Steve Goertzen scored at 23;13.

But it was always unlikely that Nottingham could be shut out tonight.

And Bruce Graham clipped the evening scoreboard to 1-2 (Panthers lead 5-3 on aggregate) onthe Power Play in the 30th minute.

It had been a great spell in the game for Steelers fans to that point - but the game was still, technically, in the balance.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be and Panthers completed the double.

See a full analysis in tomorrow’s Star.