ELITE LEAGUE FIXTURES RELEASED FOR 2018/19
Date: Jul 22, 2018
Cardiff Devils have been drawn to face Swedish side Växjö Lakers, Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg and SC Bern of Switzerland in the Champions Hockey League.
The Elite League champions were given the mouth-watering ties in the draw, which took place in Copenhagen as they prepare for their second straight continental campaign.
But the prospect of another two meetings with Lakers is one that will appeal to the Devils fans after playing them in the group stage last season.
Cardiff lost narrowly in a 3-2 loss at the Vida Arena before blasting back with a 5-1 win over Sam Hallam’s men in the rematch at Ice Arena Wales last October.
Lakers are the current Swedish SHL champions and went on to contest last year’s CHL final, where they lost to Finnish cracks JYP Jyväskylä.
Also drawn to face Andrew Lord’s side were Austrians Red Bull Salzburg, who reached the last 16 last season and were beaten by Växjö in that round.
Salzburg finished second in the EBEL league last season, where they lost to Italian side HC Bolzano in the final.
Completing the line-up is Swiss side SC Bern, a side familiar to Nottingham Panthers, who met them in the group stage last season and, along with Panthers, qualified to the knockout stage.
Corey Neilson’s team were beaten 5-2 away from home, but secured a 4-2 victory on home ice, a result that helped pave the way for their last 16 berth.
Interestingly, Bern were another team to be eliminated by Växjö, going down to them 6-5 on aggregate over two legs.
They qualified for this year’s competition after winning their regular season campaign and will hope to go one better this time.
Fixture dates are as follows:
Game Day 1: 30/31 August
Game Day 2: 01/02 September
Game Day 3: 06/07 September
Game Day 4: 08/09 September
Game Day 5: 09/10 October
Game Day 6: 16/17 October
Fixtures details will follow in due course.