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By Steve Carpenter Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 07/12 14:23
NHL star Matt Beleskey netted a hat-trick but it was not enough as Blaze lost out 4-3 to Nottingham Panthers in their Elite League/Challenge Cup clash at the National Ice Centre.
Blaze fell behind 3-0 behind mid-way through the middle session, but two goals from Beleskey kept Paul Thompson's side in the match.
Panthers restored their two-goal cushion before Beleskey's third goal of the game set up a tense finale but the visitors were unable to force a game-tying goal.
Thompson slammed his side's performance in the opening half-an-hour but found time to praise his NHL forward.
Thompson said: "For 30 minutes we were dire but after our five-on-three goal we stepped it up and came back into the game.
"They came at us hard but we were flat and we can’t play for 30 minutes in here.
"We were coming on strong and got a powerplay with a couple of minutes to go and then we thought they should have had another penalty which would have put us on a five-on-three powerplay. I was disappointed we did not get that opportunity.
"I thought Matt Beleskey was outstanding and he scored three huge goals for us, they were nice goals too, and it gave us a chance. But it was not to be."
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