Three of the most successful British Ice Hockey teams of all time

Three of the most successful British Ice Hockey teams of all time

02 Jan 2023 | eurohockey.com
 

 
 
 
 

We all know just how exhilarating ice hockey can be. When it comes to sports, football usually reigns supreme, especially with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar now getting underway. But the playacting from the overpaid players turns many of us off. Then there’s American football, but that too has its hindrances. Its stop-start nature turns countless potential fans.

With ice hockey, however, there’s something for everyone. The sport is high scoring, there are tons of rivalries and if you like watching a good scrap, let's just say, you won’t be disappointed.

When we think of ice hockey, usually our minds turn immediately to the USA and Canada. Those nations have produced the majority of the planet's greatest players with Wayne Gretzky and in recent times, Sydney Crosby, immediately springing to mind. The Olympics would back that up. The Canadians lead the medal table with nine golds and 16 medals in total. The USSR is second, impressively winning seven golds out of the nine Olympiads they competed in.

European Hockey

But in recent years, European hockey has mounted a comeback. While nothing quite compares to watching North America’sNHL Live, there is some Ice Hockey pedigree to be found on this side of the pond. The standard in Russia and Eastern Europe’s KHL is incredibly high. The same can be said of Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Finland. The Finns are the reigning world champions in fact. They defeated Canada back in may to seal their fourth World Championship. And they defeated Russia in Beijing earlier in the year to win Olympic gold.

To most, Great Britain doesn’t have much hockey pedigree. But it is a little-known fact that they too once bagged themselves an Olympic gold medal way back in Germany in 1936. British teams have also gone on to achieve success in the IIHF Continental Cup. Europe’s second-tier club ice hockey competition. But which teams specifically achieved that success?

Nottingham Panthers

Britain’s first and onlyContinental Cup victory went to the Nottingham Panthers back in the 2016/17 season. They swept all before them to lift their maiden European crown, earning them a spot in the top-tier Champions Hockey League the following season. There, they would reach the last 16 of the tournament, the furthest any British side has ever gotten in the competition.

Domestically, they also come out on top. In total, they have won 14 domestic trophies - one Elite League, five Elite League Playoffs, and eight Challenge Cups.

Sheffield Steelers

The Panthers’ biggest rivals are located 45 miles north in the neighbouring city of Sheffield. The Sheffield Steelers also have performed admirably in Europe, twice finishing third in the Continental Cup. Domestically, they lead the way in terms of Elite League titles won with five under their belt, as well as a further five playoff titles to their name. They have won one Challenge Cup as well, taking their tally to 11.

Belfast Giants

The third most successful team in the history of British Ice Hockey comes from Northern Ireland, rather than England. The Belfast Giants match the aforementioned Steelers with five league titles, however, have only converted one of those crowns into playoff glory. They also have four Challenge Cups in their trophy cabinet, taking their total to ten trophies in total.

The Giants came within fingertips of lifting the Continental Cup back in 2019. They agonisingly finished one behind Kazakhstan’s Arlan Kokshetau. Their penalty shootout victory over the Giants in the final group game in Belfast secured them the trophy for the first time in both the club's and the country’s history.


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