Giants kick-off league defence in Dundee

Giants kick-off league defence in Dundee

The Stena Line Belfast Giants will begin their Elite League title defence with a clash against Dundee in the Scottish city on Friday, 5 September.

The Giants begin their home campaign with a double-header against Edinburgh and Braehead at the Odyssey Arena the following weekend.

The team will once again compete in the Erhardt Conference along with the Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers and will look to win the Conference for a third season in-a-row.

The Giants will be hoping to build on a fantastic season last year which saw them secure the Conference by a record breaking 17 point margin.

The Cardiff Devils return to the Odyssey in the first weekend of October which will see the return of former General Manager Todd Kelman for his first Elite League games in Belfast following 14 seasons with the Giants.

Belfast will face the other sides in the Erhardt Conference four times at home and four times away, while meeting Gardiner Conference teams Braehead, Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife twice at home and twice away for a 52-game season.

The Challenge Cup will remain as two groups of five, followed by two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals, with a stand-alone final taking place at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on Sunday, 8 March 2015.

Challenge Cup Group A consists of the Stena Line Belfast Giants, Braehead, Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife. Group B is made up of Cardiff, Coventry, Hull, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The Giants will complete the regular season with games against the Coventry Blaze at home and Fife Flyers away on Friday, 20 March and Saturday, 21 March respectively, with the playoffs commencing the following week. Playoff finals weekend will take place at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham April 2015.

Giants Head of Hockey Operations Steve Thornton said he was extremely happy with the schedule.

He said: "Our fixtures eliminate a lot of unnecessary travel, and we have got the big games on the best dates.

"Away fans love coming to Belfast and we look forward to welcoming the to the Odyssey and the double-header weekends against our biggest rivals help create a fantastic atmosphere.

"The busy Christmas and New Year period is littered with exciting fixtures and we have a pre-season game scheduled, which we will be releasing details of shortly."

Before their campaign starts, the Giants will play the Cardiff Devils in a pre-season 'home and home' series on Saturday 30 August at the Odyssey Arena and then will travel the next day to clash with the Devils on their home turf.

© UTV

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