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Champions Hockey League Live Streaming - Panthers aiming to make an impact

Brendan O'Neill in Ice Hockey 24 Aug 2017
Photo by Cardiff Potter

The new Champions Hockey League kicks off this week and with plenty of British interest in the shape of the Nottingham Panthers and the Cardiff Devils, there's much to look forward to for the season ahead.

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Both the Panthers and the Devils will face some of Europe’s top clubs over the course of the next two months, the former starting with a trip to Swiss side SC Bern on Thursday night and the latter away to Davos, and are hoping to make an impact on the elite competition.

Nottingham are making just their second appearance in the tournament having beaten German outfit Hamburg Freezers in 2014 before elimination from the group stage and head coach Corey Neilson recognises that his Elite League side face an uphill battle in their attempt to successfully emerge from Group F.

“We’re looking to compete and play well at that elite level. We’re not going into the competition thinking we’ll win it," he told the Nottingham Post. 

“We want to push hard though and hopefully win some games."

With the exception of Eduard Zacharchenko, the Panthers have a full squad to choose from for their opener. The Ukrainian netminder has been linked to a bribery scandal in his homeland leaving his future uncertain.

Great Britain defenceman Steve Lee, meanwhile, will lead Nottingham on their European adventure after being handed the club captaincy by Neilson.

The Panthers qualified for the Champions Hockey League by winning the Continental Cup last season - Europe's second-tier competition - and will also face the Czech Republic's Mountfield HK and Finland's TPS Turku.

The Cardiff Devils go into the competition as UK Champions and will face HC Davos from Switzerland, Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic and Sweden's Vaxjo Lakers in Group E.

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