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Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 08:59 UK

Neilson excited to face old enemy

Corey Neilson
Neilson and Paul Thompson have had a war of words this season

Nottingham Panthers coach Corey Neilson cannot wait to renew his rivalry with Coventry coach Paul Thompson as the two sides meet in the play-off semi-final.

The pair meet at the National Ice Centre on Saturday in the Elite League last four, with the winner facing Sheffield or Cardiff in the final.

Neilson told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I can't wait for it.

"I know the players match up well together. It will be a great game - winner takes all."

Both clubs have been involved in a war-of-words since November after Neilson suggested Coventry's dominance of the sport was over.

Thompson responded claiming Panthers had a lack of respect, and Coventry enforcer Carlyle Lewis branded Neilson a "loser".

Nottingham won the next game 4-0 at the Skydome in a fiery encounter which saw both sets of players confront each other in the warm-up.

Coventry won the six-game series though, with four victories to Panthers' two.

Neilson added: "They won the season series undeservedly, I don't care what he (Thompson) says.

"But they won it and credit to them as they ground out wins better than we did."


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