Panthers crash out of play-offs

Nottingham Panthers exited the Elite League play-offs after a 9-1 aggregate mauling at the hands of Braehead Clan in the quarter-finals.

Nottingham were looking for a fourth successive play-off title but they were always up against it after losing the first leg 4-0, and they suffered more pain on Saturday as they crashed to a 5-1 second-leg loss at the Braehead Arena.

It was 1-1 after the first two periods but Braehead ran away with it in the third, with Ash Goldie finishing with two goals in the victory.

Braehead must wait to find out who else is in the last four as the other three matches on Saturday night were all quarter-finals first legs.

Regular-season champions Belfast Giants are firm favourites to progress through, however, after thumping Hull Stingrays 4-1 away from home.

Hull led after the first period thanks to Omar Pacha but the Giants hit back with three goals in the second through Colin Shields, Chris Higgins and Jeffrey Szwez before Kevin Saurette added a fourth in the third to complete the win.

In the other matches, Sheffield Steelers beat Coventry Blaze 3-2 at the SkyDome Arena and Fife Flyers recorded a 4-3 home triumph over rivals Dundee Stars.