COVENTRY BLAZE will start their 2016/17 Elite League campaign at home against the Belfast Giants after the club’s full fixture list was announced on Monday morning.
Prior to Blaze’s first Elite League fixture though, Danny Stewart’s side will face six pre-season games and a Challenge Cup encounter against last season’s fierce Elite League Playoff Grand Final rivals Nottingham on Sunday (September 4).
This year will see all ten Elite League clubs compete over the same format as last season.
The league will be split into two conferences, Erhardt and Gardiner, with each side facing their own conference rivals eight times (four home, four away) while taking on opposition conference teams four times (twice home, twice away).
Challenge Cup groupings also remain the same as last season – Blaze will compete for a spot in the quarter finals with Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, Manchester Storm and Cardiff Devils.
Fans will be delighted to see the return of the away Belfast double header on Friday (October 21) and Saturday (October 22) – which proved extremely popular amongst travelling supporters last year.
Taking on board fan feedback, Blaze have also ensured a Scotland triple-header from Friday (November 18), where Danny Stewart’s men will travel north to take on the Dundee Stars, before moving on to play the Fife Flyers on Saturday and concluding the trip at Murrayfield against the Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday.
The Christmas period will be busy as ever as Blaze face Sheffield Steelers twice in the run-up to the big day – which will be followed by a Boxing Day home tie against Cardiff.
Blaze will face a tough end to their season as they face-off against Fife Flyers at home on Saturday (March 11) before travelling to Belfast, welcoming Braehead and finally visiting Sheffield on Sunday (March 26).
Danny Stewart’s era as Blaze Head Coach will begin against the Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome Arena on Wednesday (August 24) with a 7.30pm puck-drop.
***BLAZE OPENING FIXTURES***
Wednesday August 24 vs Nottingham Panthers pre-season 7.30pm, Skydome Arena.
Sunday August 28 vs Tilburg Trappers pre-season 5.15pm, Skydome Arena.
Monday 29th August vs Cardiff Devils pre-season 4pm, Skydome Arena.
Wednesday August 31 @ Manchester Storm pre-season 7pm.
Saturday September 3 @ Cardiff Devils pre-season 7pm.
Sunday September 4 vs Nottingham Panthers Challenge Cup 5.15pm, Skydome Arena.
Wednesday September 7 vs Manchester Storm pre-season 7.30pm, Skydome Arena.
Sunday September 11 vs Belfast Giants Elite League 5.15pm, Skydome Arena.