Credit: Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey, web page.

Nottingham Panthers will take on the Zurich Lions in a battle to qualify for the Champions Hockey League quarter finals, aiming to turn round their first leg defeat.

Fans are waiting impatiently for the clock to strike seven and the Panthers to hit the ice. This match will go down in history, and is stirring a mixture of emotion among fans.

“I have been going to Panthers since their first game in 1980 and this is their biggest game to date”
Karl Smith

The ZSC Lions dominated the first leg of the qualifiers with a 3-1 win, but the Panthers could make history if they turn it around tonight.

A member of the Nottingham Panthers’ fan club, Karl Smith, said: “I have been going to see the Panthers since their first game in 1980 and this is their biggest game to date. I hope it will be a cracking game with Panthers winning to make history.”

The Nottingham underdogs have shocked fans, reaching the final stages of the tournament after being ranked the lowest seed.

Panthers’ fan, Dave Wiltshire, said: “I know they’re better than us, I know we should get beat, but there’s a feeling of maybe, just maybe we can turn them over.”

Nottingham Panthers have one of the largest fan bases in British ice hockey, and many have followed the team since they began in 1980.

“Maybe, just maybe we can turn them over.”

Dave Wiltshire

Judy Goodrige, a Panthers fan since 1988, said: “I am proud to say that my son is the equipment manager of the team. He has worked so hard for nearly 20 years, and it makes me emotional to think of him as part of this history.”

According to the Motorpoint Arena, tickets are nearly sold out, even after allocating 80 more seats to the home fans.