Elite League: Belfast Giants lose to Nottingham Panthers

Kevin Westgarth scored the first of Belfast's three goals
Kevin Westgarth scored the first of Belfast's three goals on Saturday

The Belfast Giants suffered late heartache as a last-gasp goal from Chris Lawrence condemned them to a 1-0 Elite League defeat by Nottingham Panthers at the National Ice Centre.

Lawrence struck in the final minute of the third period in Sunday's game.

Nottingham beat the Giants 4-3 at the same venue on Saturday, courtesy of a penalty shootout after the scores were tied at 3-3 after overtime.

The results mean Belfast take just one point from the two weekend fixtures.

Chris Higgins gave the hosts the lead in the first period of Saturday night's keenly contested encounter.

Kevin Westgarth and Mark Garside found the net in the second period, before Greg Jacina replied on the powerplay.

Ray Sawada nudged Belfast ahead, Robert Lachowicz scored on a powerplay and his side won 2-1 in the subsequent shootout.

The outcomes are another setback to the Giants' hopes of retaining their Elite League title as they seem unable to break out of an inconsistent run of form.

One plus for Steve Thornton's side however was that title rivals Cardiff Devils and Braehead Clan both suffered losses on Saturday.

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