Swindon Panthers’ scored a fabulous 4-3 win over Cardiff Ice Hounds in what might be the final match of their season.

The Southern Conference Cup opener had been just Panthers’ fourth match of the campaign following three weighty victories in their three pre-season challence fixtures.

But with all future fixtures called off by English Ice Hockey due to coronavirus, their 100 per cent record may well be it for the season.

Travelling to Wales, Swindon came up against a strong Cardiff side full of ex-professionals including former Wildcat Alan Armour.

The game started at a high tempo as the teams got the measure of each other and both goalies were tested early on.

The deadlock was broken at 6:33 on the clock with a lovely individual goal by Panthers’ Bogdan Neagos, assisted by Scott Gough to take first blood.

The contest was end-to-end but Panthers added a second at 15:20 as Bogdan Stefan and Duncan Morton set up Gough after a goal mouth scramble.

Cardiff were on the board 23 seconds later from a McCrudden goal that closed the first period.

The second was again tight with both sides testing the goalies, who were both in the zone.

It was to be Cardiff’s period with a goal from import Joonas Miguel at 23:10 followed by another at 28:38 for a 3-2 lead.

There were heated moments the referees had to settle before paly could continue.

There was still time for Stefan to combine with Neagos and equalise at 38:46.

The final stanza would see each team take penalties as the physical side of the game picked up , both having powerplay opportunities.

But both goalies again were a match for everything thrown at them until 46:16, when Gary Loveday had worked the corners hard to dig out the puck and find Gough in slot to fire lwo past the keeper.

Cardiff fought hard for an equaliser, but Panthers keeper Scott Warrington earned man of the match with a series of outstanding stops all the way to the buzzer.

Panthers Manager Simon Bellamy said: “We knew this would be a strong test for our side, historically we have always had difficulty in Cardiff with the size of the rink and the quality they have in their squad, so to come away with two points is a fantastic achievement.”