‘We can win it all’ – Champions Hockey League performances can spur Nottingham Panthers on, says Mathieu Briesbois


Mathieu Briesbois says Nottingham Panthers’ performances in the Champions Hockey League can serve as the springboard for them to “win it all”.

Panthers return to domestic action on Saturday as they look to secure their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals when they host Braehead Clan in their only game of the weekend.

Panthers will go through with a group game to spare if they win and Sheffield Steelers beat Manchester Storm.

Briesbois was in the line-up against Zurich Lions on Tuesday as Panthers saw their brilliant European run come to an end in the last 16.

The defenceman says they can use their run as a catalyst to win the Elite League, Play-Offs and Challenge Cup given the quality in the dressing room.

“For sure, we can build on this. Guys played so well,” he said.

“We have to carry this on into the rest of our season. If we keep playing like we’ll go far for sure.

Robert Farmer attacks

“I think we can win it all. The Champions Hockey League was a big thing and we gave it everything we’ve got.

“We left with our heads high. We’ve got a nice schedule coming up compared to how it’s been the last few weeks.

“The CHL was a great experience, some luggage to put in my back pack, when it comes to my career.

“To be honest, I didn’t really know about the tournament. My agent said ‘you’ve got to sign there, it’s going to be unbelievable’.

“I’ve got to give credit to him. He was right. I’d do it all anytime again.”

The 25-year-old does not believe domestic dominance will be easy.

He admits he was surprised by the quality of hockey in this country, after his move from French side Amiens in the summer.

“It’s a great standard. Before I came here guys were saying it’s really physical, you’ll like it,” he said.

Panthers boss Corey Neilson

“Really it’s very physical and guys can play. It’s a really good calibre.

“It’s also one of the best cities I’ve played in so I’m having a great time.”

After Tuesday’s game Panthers fans chanted for coach Corey Neilson as players joined the show of respect after Neilson stayed with the team for the first leg against Zurich following the sudden death of his father, Doug.

Briesbois says the players were showing their appreciation to the coach for all his work, as well as the fans for their support on the night.

“It was a show of respect for everything. Corey does a great job,” he said

“We know he’s built a great team and also the fans were incredible. We wanted to show how grateful we are for that.”

Forward Mark Derlago returns to the line-up on Saturday after a spell in Canada to be by his father’s side after he was struck by serious illness.

Patrick Galbraith could start in goal with Sam Gospel backing up as Mike Garnett is given the night off after his heroics against Zurich.



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