Cardiff Devils booked their place in the Elite League play-off final for the third successive year following 4-3 win after penalty shots against league champions Belfast Giants at the National Ice Centre.
Kenton Smith was the only successful taker as Devils, beaten in the showpiece for the past two years, won in a shoot-out for the first time in seven attempts this season.
Scott Matzka (Devils) and Jeremy Rebek (Giants) traded first-period goals before Scott Dobben and Luke Piggott put the Welsh side in charge.
But two goals in the final four minutes from Aaron Clarke and Mike Hoffman forced overtime and, after that failed to separate the sides, it then went to penalty shots with Devils emerging victorious.
Panthers will meet Devils in tomorrow’s final - a repeat of last year - after they thrashed Hull Stingrays 10-3 in the second semi-final.
David Clarke scored the only goal of the first period but five second-period markers from Marc Levers, Sami Ryhanan, Clarke, Rhett Gordon and Matt Myers - with Jason Silverthorn replying for Stingrays - saw Panthers take complete control.
Derek Campbell made it 6-2 at the start of the third period before Clarke completed his hat-trick and David Beauregard added an eighth.
Panthers replaced goaltender Craig Kowalski with back-up Dan Green but Robert Lachowicz and Jordan Fox made it double figures with Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier netting the final goal of the game.