Steve Lee: Nottingham Panthers on verge of 'something special', says captain

Steve Lee
Steve Lee was appointed Nottingham Panthers captain at the start of the season

Captain Steve Lee says Nottingham Panthers are on the verge of something special as they look to become the first UK team to reach the knockout stages of the Champions Hockey League.

Panthers, the lowest-ranked team in the CHL, need one regulation-time win in their last two matches to guarantee qualification for the knockout stages.

Lee told BBC Nottingham Sport: "It is special with the wins we already have.

"If we could get one more and put us through, that would be really special."

Panthers are top of Group F with eight points from four matches, with both their remaining games against TPS Turku.

They host Turku at the Nottingham Arena on Tuesday before travelling to Finland next week.

Nottingham, the 32nd seed in the prestigious European tournament, have already beaten Swiss side Bern at home, who are the fourth-ranked team in the CHL, while they have also defeated Czech side Mountfield home and away.

"We have done really well in the CHL," added Lee. "It's a massive stage and we have played against some of the best teams in Europe.

"I don't think anyone thought we would be where we are. We all hoped, we were all positive and believed we had a chance.

"When it came round to it we started building momentum. Once we had that momentum, we were good and they were very, very good games to win.

"Hopefully we can achieve something very, very special."


Former Panthers player and coach Paul Adey

It will have an impact on how British ice hockey is viewed around Europe if they get through to the next round and I think people will look at the league a lot differently.

Nobody expected them to get to where they are at this moment in time and to go that next step would be really special.

They have the team to do it. When I watched them early on in some exhibition games, I thought they were really, really good.

They certainly have not looked back. I know results in the Elite League have not all gone their way, but in the Champions Hockey League they have played extremely well.

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