Nottingham Panthers 'do Britain proud' with European win - Neilson

Corey Neilson
Neilson's Panthers end their first Champions Hockey League campaign with a group game at Hamburg next month

Nottingham Panthers boss Corey Neilson heralded their maiden Champions Hockey League victory as a significant moment for the British game.

The lowest-ranked side in Europe's top club competition beat Germany's Hamburg Freezers 3-1 at home on Tuesday.

Victory lifts Nottingham off the bottom of Group K, despite having conceded 29 goals in four previous games.

"I'm proud of the club as whole and I'm proud of the Elite League," Neilson told BBC Radio Nottingham.

Nottingham's Cody Wild celebrates his early goal against Hamburg
Defenceman Wild scored Nottingham's opener against Hamburg

"It's a big day, not only for the Nottingham Panthers, but for the Elite League because the league doesn't get enough credit.

"We're ranked 44, playing a DEL team that's got a big budget and are very good. We played hard and deserved the win."

Goals from Cody Wild, Nathan Robinson and Rob Lachowicz earned the hosts a milestone win at the National Ice Centre and saw Nottingham leapfrog competition eighth seeds Hamburg in the group table.

Nottingham Panthers CHL results and fixtures
22 Aug: 4-2 Home L v Lukko (FIN) 24 Aug: 10-1 Home L v Lulea (SWE)
5 Sep: 6-2 Away L v Lukko (FIN)7 Sep: 9-1 Away L v Lulea (SWE)
23 Sep: 3-1 Home W v Hamburg (GER)7 Oct: Away v Hamburg (GER)

Neilson said the importance of their breakthrough European win was enhanced by the inclusion of Ollie Betteridge, Lewis Hook and Jordan Cownie, who were elevated to the Champions Hockey League side from English Premier League duties.

"To win a game with three youngsters, who quite frankly don't have any business being on the ice with those players, and do the job that they they did leaves me thrilled. I'm happy with them because they showed a lot of courage to come out and do the job that they did.

"It shows a bright future for young British hockey players."