Published Tuesday, 13 March 2012
The Panthers and Giants are set to go head-to-head in the final's second leg. (© Nottingham Panthers/Belfast Giants)
The Panthers were 5-3 winners on the night and 10-4 winners on aggregate as they claimed the silverware for a record third successive season.
The Giants - who had a lot of ground to make up after the first leg - went further behind in the first period on Tuesday, as the home side raced to a three-nil lead.
They pulled three goals back, but it wasn't to be their night as two late goals for the Panthers put the icing on a convincing victory.
"It was always going to be a big ask and the Panthers got off to a great start," Giants coach Doug Christiansen told UTV after the game.
"We were disappointed not to win the hockey match."
The Giants are still flying high in the Elite League and the coach said it won't take much to pick his players up as they close in on the title.
"Our primary focus has always been to win the league campaign," Christiansen added.
"This was a tough spot, but I think the team is refocused already and they'll bounce back quickly."