With seven games left, Steelers have a game in hand and are two points adrift. Cardiff Devils, in third place, could take the title in theory, but only if the top two collapse.
Rather as Panthers did in their 8-4 defeat against Fife Flyers. After eight minutes Rick Brebant made it 2-0 to Nottingham, and at the end of the second period it was 4-1 to Panthers. Flyers came out and gave the most determined single-period display of the season, scoring seven goals without reply.
It looked as close against Whitley Warriors the next night, the second period ending with Panthers 5-4 up. Then Warriors' Brian Verbeek, scorer of two goals, was thrown out of the game, and Whitley lost their way and the game, 10-4.