bmibaby Elite League confirm 2007/08 competitions

Tuesday, 5th June 2007

As per season 2006/07, the bmibaby Elite Ice Hockey League will see its ten members clubs - Basingstoke Bison, Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Edinburgh Capitals, Hull Stingrays, Manchester Phoenix, Newcastle Vipers, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers - battling for the honours and silverware in four leading competitions.


The regular league season will commence play on the weekend of September 8th and 9th and will again be the enthralling formula of three home and away games totalling 54 games for the League Championship Trophy. The season-long marathon competition was won last year by the Coventry Blaze.


All ten clubs will compete in the Challenge Cup and a draw will be made to separate the teams into two groups. The group series will see each team play a total of four games, two at home and two away. Having determined who will be in each group a further draw will be made to decide the fixtures. The two top teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals with the top team from Group A playing the runners up in Group B and vice-versa, with the two winners contesting the final. The Challenge Cup semi-finals and final will both be two-legged, home and away ties, with the Coventry Blaze out to defend the crown they won last season.


The bmibaby Elite League will also run the British Knockout Cup that will see teams compete for the silverware won last season by the Cardiff Devils. The playing format for this season's competition is still to be finalised however it is hoped that teams from the EPL may participate.


Again, as per season 2006/07, the top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the post-season playoff quarter-finals with the team finishing 1st playing the 8th placed team, 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th and 4th vs 5th, with all ties being played on a two-legged, home and away game basis. The four winners will them proceed to the Playoff Finals weekend to be held on the weekend of April 5th and 6th, 2008. Last season, the Nottingham Panthers celebrated victory.