Fill in he did, but there were technical problems. Hanulik's pads were too big for the smaller Bertuca. "When I fell down, I couldn't get back up," he explained. Several times in the first two periods, Bertuca fell only to lay on the ice like a turtle on its shell, legs flailing in the air until the referee could right him. Predictably, the Sabres eventually noticed, and began to tee off on the empty goal.
Steadman started out the second period with aggressive defense, repeatedly smacking the puck away from the goal to the wall. Overmanned in the defensive zone, Steadman also started to use her stick as a weapon, though with careful attention to keep her actions out of sight of the referee. With 5:51 left in the second period, Sabres scored their fifth goal and Steadman took out her frustrations on a Sabre she smacked into the wall.
With 10:30 on the clock in the third period, Alexander Babich scored the first goal of the season for Panthers, preventing Bertuca's first time in net from becoming a shutout. Sabres scored thirty seconds later to make it 6-1 as Steadman slid headfirst into her own goal trying to stop them. Sabres scored three more to make the match a 9-1 drubbing.
There was plenty of excitement, however. Forward Sammy Holy scored at 7:52, 5:57 and 0:45 in the first period for his first career hat trick, staking goalie Bertuca to a 3-1 lead. Steadman showed impressive work at the blue line, holding the puck in the offensive zone to help Holy and the other forwards. Holy benefited on his second goal from a nice breakaway and blocked shot from Giovanni Gulino, and the teamwork was working. The rout appeared to be on.
At 10:37 in the third period, the Bulldogs scored another questionable goal when their forward was clearly offsides but the line judge was asleep at the wheel. Defenseman Joey Gulino made a nice play but fell down with about 5 minutes to go, and the Bulldogs scored again. By 4:57 on the clock, the score was 8-4 and the match looked over. But Panthers scored two more, one from Alexander Babich. Steadman and Holy were by this time playing unholy defense, but they couldn't prevent a last second goal by Bulldogs. When the dust settled, the final score was 9-6 in favor of Bulldogs, a pretty amazing score given that the Panthers' goalie had only one match under his belt and was the smallest player on the team.