Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers have plenty to play for in final League fixtures

Andreas Valdix goes for goal at the NIC
Andreas Valdix goes for goal at the NIC
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The league season may be coming to a close with but Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers still have lots to compete over.

The rivals face off at the NIC on Friday, with the line-up for this season’s Elite League quarter-finals still up for grabs.

Panthers’ are in fourth place in the table, just behind Steelers.

If they beat Sheffield at home the sides will meet again in the quarter-finals with Steelers, the higher seed, staging the second leg on Sunday April 2.

The Notts leg would be the day before.

However if Belfast Giants beat Cardiff Devils twice in their remaining fixtures, Belfast will top the Gardiner Conference and Sheffield will play Fife Flyers.

Nottingham entertain Manchester Storm on Wednesday and that could be an engrossing fixture, with the north west team still in with a shout of the Play Offs.

Sheffield haven’t performed badly this year at the NIC, winning twice. Their three losses were each by one goal.

In that last road defeat, Steelers were 4-0 inside 19 minutes but almost fought back.

* The winners of the 2017 EIHL Playoffs will be granted a slot in next season’s IIHF Continental Cup.

2016 playoff winners Nottingham created became the first British club to win a major European trophy when they lifted the Continental Cup in Italy in January – which booked a place in next year’s Champions Hockey League.

Cardiff will also take part in the CHL as national champions.

If Nottingham or Cardiff win the Playoffs, the League runners up will be awarded the place in the Continental Cup – with Belfast and Sheffield in contention.

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