Nottingham Panthers: Neilson says Challenge Cup took priority

Corey Nielson

Nottingham Panthers coach Corey Neilson says his side's focus has been purely on the Challenge Cup after they secured their place in the final with an 11-7 aggregate win over Sheffield Steelers.

Panthers led 5-3 after the first leg and went 5-0 ahead in Tuesday's home second leg before easing to victory.

Neilson told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We were building towards this moment.

"We knew we were out of contention for the Elite League so were building for how we would play against Sheffield."

Nottingham will face Elite League champions Belfast Giants in the final following their 10-4 aggregate victory over Cardiff Devils.

Panthers were beaten twice by Giants last weekend but Neilson said their tactics will change for the final.

Neilson added: "We had the chance on the Sunday to maybe adapt and change to what Belfast do but we chose to work on the things we knew would be successful against Steelers.

"Belfast are an excellent team and we will have to amend some tactical things to deal with what they do and we will try to build that in over the next month or so in preparation for then."

No dates have yet been set for the two-legged Challenge Cup final.