NEWCASTLE Vipers staged a sensational final-period rally to stun Nottingham Panthers and claim a vital 6-5 Elite League win – sealing the points with just 20 seconds left.
Vipers kick-started their push for a top-eight play-off spot in dramatic fashion after falling 4-1 behind early in the final period at Whitley Bay.
Vipers trailed 3-0 before player-coach Danny Stewart cut the deficit a minute from the end of the second period, but Nottingham remained in command and extended their advantage before being rocked by three unanswered efforts from Kyle Sibley (2) and Toms Hartmanis.
Panthers regained the lead with less than four minutes to go, but determined Vipers thrilled the crowd of 752 with two more goals in the final 93 seconds, courtesy of John Schwarz and Stewart, to snatch a much-needed victory.
On Saturday, Vipers – with just 10 skaters – slumped to a 7-1 defeat at Braehead Clan, conceding three unanswered goals in the first and third periods and having only Dean Holland’s second-period strike to show for their efforts. Vipers were comprehensively outshot 60-22.