ELITE LEAGUE FIXTURES RELEASED FOR 2018/19
Date: Jul 22, 2018
Cardiff will be looking to take another step towards the 2018 Elite League title, and to bounce back from Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Sheffield, when they welcome the Steelers to Ice Arena Wales on Wednesday night.
Andrew Lord’s side are currently six points clear at the top of the EIHL with six games-to-play compared to 2nd placed Manchester’s five, meaning a win against the Steelers would give Cardiff the chance to wrap up their second title in as many years on Friday, when they travel to Belfast.
The game also has connotations in the Erhardt Conference, where Cardiff currently trail Belfast by 2 points - though the Devils have four inter-Conference games to play (including Wednesday night) while the Giants have just two.
Visitors Sheffield will be aiming to secure a third straight victory, as the South Yorkshire side looks to build some momentum heading into the PredictorBet Playoffs, where they will look to defend their title.
It’s a meeting of two teams that already have a trophy each in the cabinet so it’s all about league placing and play-off seeding when Belfast Giants head to Fife Flyers.
Since winning the Gardiner Conference, Fife have lost five of their eight games, with two wins coming against Edinburgh Capitals, but injuries have hampered their hopes of finishing the season strongly.
Challenge Cup winners Belfast Giants won one and lost one at home at the weekend in their first games since scooping silverware and will look for two points in Kirkcaldy.
With both teams locked on 64 points after 50 games, someone will move ahead and go into the weekend in third place. But who will it be?
Guildford Flames will look to close the gap on Patton Conference leaders Manchester when they face Milton Keynes Lightning at The Spectrum on Wednesday night.
The Flames currently trail the Storm by 6 points in the Conference, but Paul Dixon’s side have four inter-Conference games remaining compared to the Storm’s two.
It remains a big ask for Guildford to secure top spot in the Conference in their first Elite League campaign, but with Manchester due to visit The Spectrum on Saturday, a win against the Lightning will give the Surrey side a chance at overhauling the points difference.
Visitors Milton Keynes are now simply playing for pride, after Sunday’s loss in Dundee saw the Lightning officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Pete Russell’s side made a strong start to the 2017/18 season, their first in the Elite League, but injuries derailed the team in what was one of the most competitive EIHL campaigns in recent memory, providing a stiff learning curve for everyone involved.