2004/05

FIXTURE LIST & GAME SHEETS    CHALLENGE CUP   ELITE LEAGUE

CONTINENTAL CUP    PLAY-OFFS    PLAYER-STATS     HONOURS    SUMMARY

PLAYERS IN # late signing, PLAYERS OUT * early release, + resigned
Matt Myers Cardiff Devils Mikko Koivunoro Retired
Curtis Cruickshank Basingstoke Bison Lee Jinman Saltzburg Red Bulls (Austria)
Richard Wojciak Swindon Lynx (ENL) Marc Levers Belfast Giants
Roman Tvrdon Portland Pirates  (AHL) Niklas Sundberg Hammarby IF (Sweden)
Konstantin Kalmikov Louisiana Ice Gators (ECHL) Briane Thompson

Kansas City Outlaws (UHL)

Jan Magdosko SKP PS Poprad  (Slovakia) Joel Salonen

AS Mastini Varese (Italy)

Jan Krulis HC Kladno  (Czech Republic) Dave Struch

Kalamazoo Wings (UHL)

Scott Ricci Rochester Americans  (AHL) Robert Stancok

HK Dubnica (Slovakia)

Marek Ivan HC Trinec  (Czech Republic) Kristian Taubert

Torpedo Nizhny Novogrod (Russia)

Steve McKenna # Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) Roman Tvrdon * Season ending injured
Ian Moran # Boston Bruins (NHL) John Craighead + Cardiff Devils
Nick Boynton # Boston Bruins (NHL) Jan Magdosko * Season ending injured
Mikhail Nemirovsky # Novosibirsk (Russia) Jan Krulis * Bracknell Bees (BNL)
Ladislav Kudrna # Hull Stingrays (BNL)

Manchester were lost to the league again after it proved financially unviable to play out of the MEN Arena. 
Following IIHF intervention during the closed season, the BNL & EIHL were to play a series of cross-over games, in which EIHL and BNL teams would play against each other home and away. The results of these games would count toward the teams positions in their own leagues. The longer term aim of this was to amalgamate the two leagues into one. 

isl.jpg (1390 bytes) CHALLENGE CUP

RESULTS

GP W OW D L OL GF GA
2 1 0 0 1 0 6 4
2 1 0 1 0 0 8 7
2 1 0 0 1 0 5 4

Semi-Final

2 0 0 1 1 0 4 5

Panthers started their Cup campaign with an away loss in Cardiff, followed by a home draw against London. Their chances of qualification for the later stages improved following an away win in London. A 4-1 win over Cardiff cemented 2nd spot. Next up were the Giants at the NIC. Panthers were decidedly second best in this game and but for more good work by Curtis Cruickshank would have lost by more than the 2-1 scoreline. As usual ex Panther Curtis Bowen scored for the visitors. Panthers then went to Belfast needing to win to progress to the knock-out stages. Ivan & McKenna put the Panthers 2 up before Belfast drew level. Ivan's second near the end edged Panthers back in front, before Craighead sealed it with an empty netter. In the semi-final first leg, Panthers lost 2-1 in Coventry. The 2nd leg took place on Jan 19th. By now John Craighead had resigned and no replacement as yet signed. That lack of a sharpshooter was as evident as ever as Panthers, despite outshooting the Blaze 43 to 26, drew the game 3-3, losing the tie 4-5 on agg.
The final saw Coventry overcome Cardiff 11-5 on aggregate.

CUP GRP B

GP W OW D L OL GF GA PTS GD
6 5 0 0 1 0 17 8 10 9
6 3 0 1 2 0 19 15 7 4
6 3 1 0 3 0 14 15 6 -1
6 0 0 1 5 1 9 21 1 -11

 

CUP GRP A

GP W OW D L OL GF GA PTS GD
4 2 1 0 1 0 10 8 6 2
4 2 0 1 0 1 11 10 6 1
4 0 0 1 2 1 10 13 2 -3

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LEAGUE

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ELITE LGE

GP W (RW) D L OL GF GA PTS
Coventry Blaze 50 33 (29) 6 6 5 181 104 77
Belfast Giants 50 31 (28) 7 10 2 170 104 71
Cardiff Devils 50 30 (25) 4 15 1 152 121 65
Nottingham Panthers 50 25 (24) 5 14 6 136 101 61
Sheffield Steelers 50 25 (18) 5 17 3 118 110 58
London Racers 50 19 (16) 9 19 3 116 124 50
Basingstoke Bison 50 15 (15) 5 28 2 128 178 37

 

CROSS LGE

GP W RW D L OL GF GA PTS
Belfast GiantsEHL 14 12 11 1 0 1 67 27 26
Cardiff DevilsEHL 14 12 11 0 2 0 62 31 24
Nottingham PanthersEHL 14 11 10 0 2 1 55 27 23
Coventry BlazeEHL 14 10 9 0 3 1 57 31 21
Basingstoke BisonEHL 14 9 9 0 4 1 59 48 19
London RacersEHL 14 9 8 1 4 0 46 33 19
Sheffield SteelersEHL 14 8 8 1 5 0 39 29 17
BNL 14 7 6 1 6 1 48 33 16
BNL 14 4 4 1 8 1 33 44 10
BNL 14 4 4 0 10 0 29 56 8
BNL 14 4 2 0 10 0 22 52 8
BNL 14 3 2 0 10 1 40 69 7
BNL 14 2 2 1 11 0 24 56 6
BNL 14 0 0 0 13 1 30 75 1

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RESULTS

GP W OW D L OL GF GA
Basingstoke Bison 6 5 0 0 1 0 19 7
Belfast Giants 6 1 0 1 4 0 12 17
2 0 0 0 1 1 3 6
Cardiff Devils 6 4 0 0 1 1 16 8
Coventry Blaze 6 0 0 2 3 1 7 14
2 2 0 0 0 0 9 3
2 2 0 0 0 0 12 5
2 1 0 0 1 0 7 6
2 2 0 0 0 0 12 3
2 2 0 0 0 0 8 2
London Racers 6 3 0 1 1 1 18 15
2 1 1 0 0 0 4 2
Sheffield Steelers 6 1 0 1 2 2 9 13

Panthers league campaign was moderate to say the least and by mid October there were grumbles in the air as Panthers struggled against fellow Elite league sides and the management were threatening changes. Meanwhile Panthers were off to France to represent Britain in the Continental Cup. Their return to domestic action saw a flattering 4-1 win over the Devils, followed by a 2-1 defeat by Belfast at the NIC and a 4-3 loss in London. After eight games against fellow Elite league sides Panthers only had two wins, the 4-1 over Cardiff and a narrow 5-4 in London. 
The first meeting at the NIC against the Steelers was next. In an up and down encounter, Panthers generally had the edge and for once Andy Carson seemed to be smiling benignly on them. Two PP goals put Panthers in front, the first a fortuitous wrister from Krulis on the blue line found it's way beyond Platt. The second a sharp close in finish from Clarke with a Steelers draped over his back. In the 3rd the Panthers sat back and the hard working Steelers scored a deserved goal a couple of minutes from time. After pulling their goalie Kalmikov scored the insurance empty-netter. This sad to say was probably Panthers fans highlight of the league campaign. 
Panthers first double header in Scotland for many years took place at the start of December with two cross-over games. The first resulted in a disappointing 4-2 loss in Fife, ending a 7 game winning streak, the damage being done in the first period which the home side took 3-1. 
Panthers met Sheffield in their traditional Boxing day game at the NIC, also as per tradition Panthers lost, but at least this time it was in OT.
Ahlroos & Craighead had been absent for some time at this point and Panthers had a disasterous January winning only one game at the NIC, in OT against BNL side Newcastle. Any hopes Panthers held of taking the league title went during this run, At the end of January Boston Bruin, Ian Moran made his debut and registered an assist in Panthers 3-1 win in Dundee. A few days BNL leaders Bracknell visited the NIC and went away 2-1 OT winners. All Panthers usual failures were in evidence, despite the inclusion of Boston Bruins duo Ian Moran & Nick Boynton. Panthers outshot the visitors 40 to 24 and Konstantin Kalmikov once again hit a post during regulation time, but the Bees dominated the face-off circle. 
Next up was the Steelers at the NIC/ Despite being at full strength including our three NHLers and new signing Nemirovsky, Panthers still managed to lose 1-0 a game I missed having seen the writing on the wall. Panthers finally managed their first win at home against Elite league opposition since early December in mid February. For once luck was with them. With Ahlroos & Nemirovsky both missing Panthers won 4-1 against London, but the first was an intended pass from Boynton which deflected off Clarke's skate, the second a soft shot from Kalmikov which Watkins should have saved and the last an empty netter.
Panthers closed their cross league campaign against Guildford away and Dundee at the NIC with 5-1 & 6-2 wins to finish 3rd.
The disappointing league campaign came to an end with a 2-0 home win over the Devils, with Nemirovsky and Ahlroos still absent.

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CONTINENTAL CUP

TABLE GRP D

GP W OW D L OL GF GA PTS GD
HC Milano 3 2 0 1 0 0 15 4 5 11
3 2 0 1 0 0 6 3 5 3
HC Amiens 3 1 0 0 2 0 4 7 2 -3
HDD Olympija 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 13 0 -9

 

RESULTS

GP W OW D L OL GF GA
HC Amiens 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 1
HC Milano 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 2
HDD Olimpija 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0

In their first serious competition abroad since the 50's Panthers pulled off a surprise result in their opening game, holding wealthy Italian side Milan Vipers to a 2-2 draw. They then went one better in the shoot-out, winning it 3-2, although this would only counts should Panthers and Milan finish the tournament level on points and goal difference. Jan Magdosko failed a fitness test and missed the start. Later Roman Tvardon was injured and went to hospital. John Craighead was thrown out of the game for fighting and David Clarke & Paul Moran played on injuries. With Panthers struggling to ice 3 lines, the remainder of the tournament looked to be backs against the wall stuff. Against all the odds Slovenian side HDD Olympija Lubliana were beaten 1-0 and Panthers found themselves on top of the group, for the moment at least. Following Milan's 9-2 beating of Lubjiana Olympia, who'd decided to play their back-up netminder, Panthers needed to beat Amiens by twelve goals. Realistically the best we could hope for was a surprise 2nd place. In the final game, goals from Kalmikov SH, Craighead PP and Craighead again saw Panthers defeat the hosts 3-1 and secure that 2nd place. Curtis Cruickshank again performed heroically and was outstanding throughout the tournament, saving around 96%.

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PLAY OFFS

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TABLE GRP A

GP W OW D L OL GF GA PTS GD
8 5 0 2 1 0 29 15 12 14
8 3 0 2 3 0 21 29 8 -8
8 2 0 0 6 0 19 25 4 -6

 

TABLE GRP B

GP W OW D L OL GF GA PTS GD
8 4 0 3 1 0 18 12 11 6
8 3 0 4 1 0 22 15 10 7
8 0 0 3 5 0 14 27 3 -13

 

RESULTS

GP W OW D L OL GF GA
4 1 0 2 1 - 10 15
4 2 0 0 2 - 11 14
(SF) 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 1
(Final) 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2

The first play-off game was away to League Champions, Coventry. Nemirovsky made an appearance, but Ahlroos was still absent, together with new injury victims Boynton & Ivan. Wojciak & Cruickshank joined the injured brigade early in the first period and what was left of the Panthers lost 7-1.
Ladislav Kudrna was signed as a temporary replacement for Cruickshank who had damaged a knee, while Wojciak had a shoulder injury.
The second game saw London beaten 2-1 at the NIC, despite being heavily out-shot and losing Mark Cadotte to a dislocated shoulder and Marek Ivan a back injury. A couple of days later, minus Ahlroos, Ivan, Cadotte & Wojciak, Panthers pulled off an amazing 3-3 tie in Coventry. Rhys McWilliams, on a two way contract at Solihul, scoring his first goal for the Panthers. They followed this up with a 1-1 tie at the NIC against the League Champions, again with a host of part time Brits doing their bit. 
Panthers then faced back to back games over two nights against London. In the first at Lea Valley the injured brigade grew when Ian Moran left the game early in the 1st period, with a shoulder injury. Panthers by now reduced to 12 skaters, 6 of whom were Brits and 3 of those mere youths lost 4-2. In the following night's Ian Moran was missing but Marek Ivan made a surprise return from his back injury and the previous night's score was overturned. All things considered this was probably one of Panthers best displays of the season.
Against all the odds Panthers qualified for the semi-final with two games still to play when the Blaze beat the Racers 2-0.
Panthers continued their season-long ascendancy over the Devils in the evening semi-final with a 3-1 win, Konstantin Kalmikov netting the insurance empty-netter with 4 seconds left. Coventry made it past the Steelers 3-0 in the afternoon game.
Panthers put up a gritty defensive display in the final before going down 2-1 in overtime, the winner being scored by ex-Panther Ashley Tait.

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pansm.jpg (722 bytes) PLAYER STATS

PLAYER STATS

Pos GP Gls Ass Pts Ave Pims Ave MoM F/O%
David Clarke F 62 31 30 61 1.0 30 0.5 9 -
Mark Cadotte F 54 11 36 47 0.9 14 0.3 2 46
Marek Ivan F 55 25 21 46 0.8 137 2.5 5 44
Konstantin Kalmikov F 60 26 18 44 0.7 20 0.3 2 -
Kim Ahlroos F 32 10 17 27 0.8 8 0.3 - -
Matt Myers F 61 5 20 25 0.4 77 1.3 3 57
Calle Carlsson D 62 5 21 26 0.4 34 0.5 4 -
Scott Ricci D 62 3 19 22 0.4 10 0.2 2 -
Steve McKenna F/D 50 8 13 21 0.4 28 0.6 5 -
Jan Krulis D 40 7 8 15 0.4 58 1.4 - -
Paul Moran F 52 6 8 14 0.3 44 0.8 2 -
Richard Wojciak F 53 6 5 11 0.2 12 0.2 1 -
Nick Boynton D 22 4 5 10 0.4 32 1.5 2 -
Ian Moran D 21 2 9 11 0.5 10 0.5 1 -
Jan Magdosko D 36 2 4 6 0.2 98 2.7 1 -
Mikhail Nemirovsky D 11 3 2 5 0.5 8 0.7 - -
Roman Tvrdon F 9 1 3 4 0.4 6 0.7 - -
Daniel Scott F 57 0 3 3 0.1 14 0.2 - -
Rhys McWilliams F 15 1 0 1 0.1 0 0.0 - -
Curtis Cruickshank NM 53 0 1 1 0.1 10 0.2 9 -
Lewis Buckman F 9 0 1 1 0.1 0 0.0 - -
Jason Buckman F 13 0 1 1 0.1 0 0.0 - -
James Neil F 4 0 1 1 0.3 0 0.0 - -
Geoff Woolhouse NM 45 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 -
Ewan King NM 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
Richard Snook NM 5 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
Sean Yardley F 4 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
James Cooke F 10 0 0 0 0.0 1 0.0 - -
Andrew Jaszczyck NM 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
James Moore NM 5 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
Alan Levers NM 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 - -
Ladislav Kudrna NM 8 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 4 -
GOALIE STATS GPI Min Sht Gls S% GAA
Curtis Cruickshank 52 2994 1344 101 92.5 2.0
Geoff Woolhouse 10 327 153 16 89.5 2.9
Ladislav Kudrna 8 450 281 18 93.6 2.4

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ANNUAL AWARDS

Most Valuable Player David Clarke
Players Player Of The Year David Clarke & Konstantin Kalmikov

Top Points Scorer Award

David Clarke

Top Goalscorer Award

David Clarke

Most Consistent Player

Konstantin Kalmikov

Most Entertaining Player

Matt Myers

Best British Player

David Clarke

Supporters Player Of The Year

Calle Carlsson

Sponsors Player Of The Year

Calle Carlsson

The Gary Rippingale Memorial Team Spirit Award

Calle Carlsson


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pansm.jpg (722 bytes) SUMMARY

TOTAL GAMES 2004/05

GP W OW L OL D GF GA
66 31 1 18 7 9 178 144
% of Games & Goals Ave 47% 2% 27% 11% 14% 2.7 2.2
HOME 32 17 0 6 4 5 88 57
53% 0% 19% 13% 16% 2.8 1.8
AWAY 34 14 1 13 2 4 90 87
41% 3% 38% 6% 12% 2.6 2.6
Average Attendance: 3940 (-11%)

A moderate Challenge Cup was followed by an even more disappointing League campaign. Success against BNL sides failed to make up for Panthers goal scoring inadequacies against Elite League opposition. 
The only early season player movement saw Roman Tvrdon released following shoulder surgery and less that scintillating start to the season. His replacement was giant Pittsburgh defenceman Steve McKenna, at 6'8" the largest ever to ice for the Panthers. His signing was aided by the ongoing NHL lockout. Strangely McKenna played left wing, a position he didn't really impress in. 
While the defence was pretty solid, the forwards misfired throughout. The previous year's top goal scorer, John Craighead, came down with mumps early in December and just when we thought he was on the verge of returning he resigned and went to Cardiff following a disagreement with Paul Adey. His replacement Mikhail Nemirovsky didn't join the ranks full time until the play-offs, three months later. The forwards looked unbalanced with, on the face of it, no effective Centres on the roster. Converted winger Mark Cadotte played 2nd line Centre and Marek Ivan Centre'd the 1st line, but neither looked comfortable at the face-off and too many important ones were lost. In addition Kim Ahlroos' long enforced absence through concussion and Craighead's eventual  replacement Mikhail Nemirovsky's delayed appearance didn't help matters. 
The replacement of defencemen Jans' Krulis and Magdosko with another NHL lockout pair Ian Moran and Nick Boynton helped the goals against column, but the forwards then managed to score even fewer goals. At the end of the league campaign Panthers appeared to be going through the motions, much to the annoyance of the home fans. By now home results were only marginally better than away. This didn't bode well for the play-offs.  The final league game of the season was played with Paul Adey facing the axe should they lose. The resultant 2-0 win saved him for the moment.
The play-offs began disastrously with a 7-1 defeat in Coventry and yet more losses to injury as Cruickshank & Wojciak were lost in that game and Cadotte & Ivan in the next. Even so, with the help of Coventry's wins over London, Panthers qualified with two games to spare. Outstanding, all things considered. 
Injuries were the worst on record with all the following either missing games or playing through injuries which should have seen them rested. Tvrdon (replaced by McKenna), Magdosko (replaced by Ian Moran) , Ahlroos, Craighead (replaced by Nemirovsky), Cadotte, Ivan, Ian Moran, Cruickshank (replaced by Kudrna) and Wojciak. In retrospect Panthers did extremely well to only lose the play-off final 2-1 in overtime with Cadotte and Ahlroos missing and Ivan reportedly playing in a body brace due to an ongoing back injury.
Statistically this wasn't a particularly bad year, but it could and possibly should have been so much better following all the pre season hype. The loss of and failure to replace Ahlroos early in December, together with the Craighead affair and long wait for his replacement Nemirovsky to ice, meant that much of the season was played with two import forwards missing. It was probably this goal-scoring lack which was eventually to cost Paul Adey his job, when his contract wasn't renewed in the summer.
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2004/05 HONOURS

Top Points Team GP Gls Ass Pts Ave Pims Ave
Dan Carlson Coventry Blaze 62 27 47 74 1.2 60 1.0

 

HONOURS

League Champions Coventry Blaze
Runners Up Belfast Giants
Challenge Cup Winners Coventry Blaze
Runners Up Cardiff Devils
Championship Winners Coventry Blaze
Runners Up Nottingham Panthers
BNL Champions Bracknell Bees
Runners Up Newcastle Vipers
Elite League Loss Manchester Phoenix
Elite League Gain -

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