Nottingham Panthers reach Champions Hockey League knockout stages

Josh Shalla scores
Josh Shalla scores Nottingham's first goal against Turku

Nottingham Panthers became the first UK side in history to reach the Champions Hockey League knockout stages as they beat Turku 2-0 at the Nottingham Arena.

Second-period goals from Josh Shalla and Alex Mokshantsev helped the CHL's lowest seeds reach the last 16.

Captain Steve Lee told BBC Radio Nottingham: "It's pretty special and hasn't quite sunk in. We played really, really well.

"It means so much for us and for British ice hockey."

Panthers had already beaten Czech side Mountfield home and away and pulled off a shock 4-2 win over Bern, the Swiss champions and the tournament's fourth seeds, in September.

Victory over Finnish side Turku secured qualification with a game to spare and they will top Group F if they win at Turku next Tuesday, or if Bern fail to beat Mountfield on Wednesday.

"This is huge, being on the best stage in Europe," added Lee. "The fans were amazing; they were so loud.

"They helped give us momentum throughout the game and kept us going."

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