Nottingham Panthers: Corey Neilson says tiredness a factor in defeat by Turku
Head coach Corey Neilson blamed tiredness after Nottingham Panthers lost 5-2 to Turku in their final Champions Hockey League group game.
Panthers were level at 2-2 in the third period in Finland thanks to goals from Ollie Betteridge and Robert Lachowicz, but Turku scored three late goals.
Nottingham had already qualified for the knockout stages as group winners.
"We were slow to start but we upped the tempo. We were good in the third but made fatigued decisions," said Neilson.
"Overall, I am happy. Those games are tough to play and I thought our guys did a heck of a job.
"They compete every time they are on the ice and I am so proud of them."
Panthers are the 32nd and lowest-ranked team in the tournament, but were already confirmed as winners of Group F following four successive victories.
They will now have home advantage for the last-16 draw which takes place on Friday.
"To finish top of the group is something we did not expect but we deserved it," added Neilson.
"We played good hockey and got the results and now we are looking forward to see who we get in the next round."