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After a thrilling game on home ice at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, the Nottingham Panthers overcame their rivals, the Sheffield Steelers, to win 4-3 as the two teams competed for the inaugural GM the GM Memorial Trophy in honour of former Panthers General Manager, Gary Moran.

Gary spent 24 years as the club’s GM from 1997 to 2021, but also covered the club as a reporter and broadcaster.

In 2000, the Panthers moved from the old ice rink to the National Ice Centre and Gary helped double the club’s attendance in a period of massive transformation.

During his time as GM, Panthers won one league championship, five playoff titles, eight Challenge Cups, one IIHF Continental Cup and the 2021 Elite Series.

Ahead of faceoff the players, staff and fans paid tribute not only to Gary but to former Panthers forward Mike Hammond. who tragically died in a car accident in Canada this summer.

Hammond was a Great Britain international and joined the Panthers last summer from German side Hannover Scorpions.



Mike Robinson got the start in-between the pipes with Rok Stojanovic as back-up.

The coaches will choose the captains ahead of the regular season but tonight Ollie Betteridge wore the C after Victor Björkung captained the side the night before in Sheffield.

Lemay and Henbrant on target in 2-2 first period
Robinson made a early save to deny Mitchell Balmas and then stopped a Jackson Whistle breakaway, before Adam Johnson’s superb pass set-up Mathieu Lemay to put Panthers ahead (4:04).

Sam Jones equalised for the Steelers with a top-shelf finish from the right circle (07:53) and 46 seconds later, Daniel Capini scored from close range to turn the game on its head (8:39).

Björkung and Lemay combined to feed Didrik Henbrant who scored through the five-hole to make it two each only 80 seconds later (9:59).

Nieminen gives Panthers the advantage
Alexander Lunsjö hit the pipes short-handed early in period two and Panthers went ahead as Otto Nieminen stepped out from behind the net to slide the puck past Anthony Morrone (30:34).

Panthers had two more chances short-handed later in the period as Henbrant used his skill before being denied by Morrone, while Hugo Roy also went close.

Nieminen wins it for the Panthers
​Lunsjö and Westin Michaud had chances early in period three, but Sheffield equalised through Brett Neumann from the slot (47:53).

Henbrant found space down the right-hand side but saw his shot saved, before Panthers won it with under three minutes remaining when Björkung’s effort was saved and Nieminen popped home the rebound.


Photos taken by Panthers Images