With an impressive league position, a large and ever expanding fan base as well as one of the best home venues in the league, you’d be excused for believing that this is an article about Nottingham Forest. However, currently lying third in the table with regular home attendances of over 3500 at the Nottingham Arena, the GMB Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team are the team to watch this winter. Based at the National Ice Centre complex in the Lace Market, the Panthers make up part of the newly sponsored bmibaby.com Elite League, as one of the ten top flight teams.
The Panthers celebrate their 60th anniversary as a club this season, and have enjoyed success on and off the ice in recent times. In October the club represented Britain at the Continental Cup in Rouen, France. With 3 games in 3 days the Panthers put in brave performances against hosts Rouen, tournament favourites Salzburg and Danish side Sonderjysk only to come away empty handed, losing the games 6-2, 5-2 and 4-2. However, recent displays have seen the Panthers reach 3rd in the table, highlighted by the win over reigning league champions the Belfast Giants. Off the ice, the club has also re-signed last season’s top goalscorer Joe Cardarelli in an effort to launch Coach Mike Ellis’ team to the top of the table.
Matches are primarily on Saturday evenings with face off at 7.00pm, with occasional midweek and Sunday fixtures beginning at 7.30pm and 5.00pm respectively. Student prices for home games start at £11 which proves excellent value for money as games last around 2 hours.