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Fixtures are out for the 2018/19 ice hockey season

4 minute read
Fixtures are out for the 2018/19 ice hockey season

Published at 1:47pm 27th July 2018. (Updated at 1:48pm 27th July 2018)

A new season of Elite League fixtures, totalling 60 League and 6 Cup games for Spectrum’s men, has been set for the new campaign.  A busy September has the Flames on home ice 7 times, including tilts against League and Playoff champion Cardiff Devils, league powerhouses Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers as well as Scottish members Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan.  All the action will kick off with an opening challenge weekend against Milton Keynes Lightning. 

After the Lightning warm ups, including the home affair on Sunday, September 2nd at 6pm, the Flames open league play on Saturday, September 8th in Surrey when Coventry Blaze stop in for a Cup outing. The clubs will be back to it 24 hours later when they resume play in Coventry for the completion of their head to head group round Cup obligation.   

 “The most noticeable part of the schedule for the new season is volume and maybe a bit more long distance travel with the new balanced schedule where we see all teams an equivalent number of times,” explained Head Coach Paul Dixon. 

“With the adjusted structure, and if we move on to the Cup quarter final or playoffs, we could be 70+ games.”

“Staying healthy and fit for the season will be a real focus, and every team will need to find a balance between training and games against the requirements for rest.”

“In terms of our overall approach to the season, we really want to build on where we started a year ago.  We were able to retain a relatively young, good skating core of players, and we think we have maybe improved the depth.”

“Of course, you never know what you have done until you start getting out there and put it all in play, so we are definitely excited to be closing in on opening night to see how we stack up against teams who have also spent the summer trying to improve their roster.”

The league will consist of 11 teams, following the departure of Edinburgh Capitals, but remains split into three Conferences, two of four and one of three.

Scottish trio Glasgow Clan, Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers, who won it last year, will play in the Gardiner Conference.

Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers will compete in the Erhardt Conference.

The Patton Conference consists of Coventry Blaze, Milton Keynes Lightning, Guildford Flames and last season’s winners, Manchester Storm.

 

Each team will play each other six times over the course of the campaign, three home and three away, making up the 60 league starts. 

Unlike previous seasons, each team will play their opponents an equal amount of times compared to playing their Conference rivals more than their opponents outwith their Conference.

The final weekend of the regular season will be the 30th and 31st March 2019.

This announcement marks the latest step as all attention now starts to turn to the new campaign and Elite League chairman Tony Smith is looking forward to seeing the action get underway.

“Once again, we’re at the point when our teams and their fans can look ahead to what will be a fascinating campaign ahead,” he said.

“While we’ve sadly lost Edinburgh Capitals, the 11 teams are gearing up for what promises to be another exciting few months ahead as old and new rivalries are renewed.

“I want to thank all the clubs and their representatives for the work they’ve put into this schedule and they all worked together brilliantly to produce these fixtures.

“Now the fans can look ahead and plan their trips accordingly and it looks like we could have the makings of a great season ahead.”