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Elite League Announces 2018/19 Formats

Confirmation of rules of competition for the Elite League, Challenge Cup and PredictorBet Playoffs during the 2018/19 season.

Ahead of Monday’s fixture release, the Elite Ice Hockey League has confirmed the rules of competition for the league, Challenge Cup and PredictorBet Playoffs for the coming season.

The 11 EIHL teams will once again compete for the Elite League championship, Challenge Cup and PredictorBet Playoff trophy, whilst the Conference titles also remain up for grabs.

Full details of the rules of competition for the 2018/19 Elite League, Challenge Cup and PredictorBet Playoffs can be found below, but some key changes this season include;

The Elite League is is now a straight 11-team league with each team facing each other 6 times (3 home, 3 away for a total of 60 games). The League Champion is the team with the highest number of points over the 60-game regular season.

Conference winners are no longer guaranteed a playoff spot – they must finish in the top eight during the regular season to qualify for the PredictorBet Playoffs.
The Challenge Cup group stage now consists of two groups of 4 and one group of 3, with the best eight teams qualifying for the knockout phase per the rules of competition (listed below)

REGULAR SEASON

The 2018/2019 Elite League Regular Season Championship is a straight 11-team league with each team facing each other 6 times – 3 home & 3 away for a total of 60 Regular Season games.

The League Champion is the team with the highest number of points over the 60-game regular season.

In the event of teams being equal on points the following criteria will decide the final league ranking;

i. Total number of points.

ii. Total number of games won in regulation time.

iii. Total number of all games won (regulation, overtime and penalties).

iv. The results of games played between the relevant teams by applying points won, games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

v. Fewest regulation losses.

vi. Using away games: – points won, games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

vii. Goals scored.

viii. Goal Difference

ix. Fewest Penalty Minutes (Fair Play)

x. In the unlikely event of teams still being equal, teams will be ranked by the drawing of lots. Any prize monies determined by the position in a league or group by this means will be shared equally by the tying teams.

xi. Where a group of two or more teams is tied, then whenever a team can be eliminated due to the above order of priority, it shall be, by applying each of the above stages in order of such priority.

CONFERENCES

The Elite League comprises of Three (3) individual conferences:

1. Erhardt Conference

2. Gardiner Conference

3. Patton Conference

The champion of each individual conference is the team within the conference with the highest number of points. With all league games against conference opponents counting towards the Conference Championship.

In the event of teams being equal on points the following criteria will decide the final conference ranking;

i. Total number of points.

ii. Total number of games won in regulation time.

iii. Total number of all games won (regulation, overtime and penalties).

iv. The results of games played between the relevant teams by applying points won,

games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

v. Fewest regulation losses.

vi. Using away games: – points won, games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

vii. Goals scored.

viii. Goal Difference

ix. Fewest Penalty Minutes (Fair Play)

x. In the unlikely event of teams still being equal, teams will be ranked by the drawing of lots. Any prize monies determined by the position in a league or group by this means will be shared equally by the tying teams.

xi. Where a group of two or more teams is tied, then whenever a team can be eliminated due to the above order of priority, it shall be, by applying each of the above stages in order of such priority.

Erhardt Conference

The Stena Line Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete in the Erhardt Conference. This is named after Carl Erhardt who captained Great Britain to their Olympic gold in 1936. The winners are awarded the Erhardt Trophy.

Gardiner Conference

Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan, currently make up the Gardiner Conference. This is named after Charlie Gardiner – the Edinburgh-born netminder who captained Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 1934. The winners are awarded the Gardiner Trophy.

Patton Conference

Coventry Blaze, Guildford Flames, Manchester Storm and Milton Keynes Lightning compete in the Patton Conference. This is named after IIHF and British Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Major Bethune Minet “Peter” Patton, who is credited with bringing ice hockey to the United Kingdom and helping it spread across Europe. The winners are awarded the Patton Trophy.

PREDICTORBET PLAYOFFS

The Playoff Competition is comprised of the following phases

1. Knockout Stages:

a. The teams placed 1-8 at the end of the Regular Season Championship take part in the Quarter Finals of the Elite League Playoffs in a two-legged aggregate score series of games with the overall winner of each series progressing further in the competition.

i. The two legs and must be completed by Sunday 7th April 2019.

b. Seedings for the 2018 Elite League Playoffs will be based on final league standings at the conclusion of the 2018 – 2019 regular season. The Elite League winners will be seeded #1 for the playoffs, the league runners-up #2 and so on down to #8.

c. The 1st seed will play the 8th seed, 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th and 4th vs 5th.

i. The higher seed in each quarter-final will get the choice of when they play their home leg – those clubs who opt to play their home leg on (or before) Saturday 6th April must assume that it will be playing the first leg at home and not the second leg. This is to ensure all ties are completed by Sunday 7th April.

2. Playoff Finals Weekend – POFW

a. Playoff finals weekend takes place at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham over the weekend of 13th and 14th April, with the semi-finals taking place on the Saturday and the third v fourth-placed match and Grand Final on the Sunday.

b. All games played at POFW are standalone games with the two winning teams progressing to the Grand Final on the Sunday and the two losing teams the third v fourth-placed match.

c. Seedings for the semi-final and final will be determined by the original quarter-final ranking, so the highest-placed team left in the playoffs will be ranked as the highest seed.

i. The highest seed will play the lowest seed in the first semi-final, with the remaining seeds playing in the second semi-final.

ii. The highest seeded team in each game will have the home advantage

CHALLENGE CUP

For the 2018/2019 EIHL Season, the Challenge Cup competition sees the 11 clubs split into three groups.

The three groups for the 2018/2019 Challenge Cup are as follows:

Group A – Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers.

Group B – Stena Line Belfast Giants, Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan.

Group C – Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Guildford Flames and Milton Keynes Lightning.

The Challenge Cup Competition is comprised of the following phases:

1. Qualification Round:

a. Teams play a round robin group of games, 1 home and 1 away against each team within their group.

b. The lowest ranked team in group B and C is automatically knocked out of the tournament.

c. In the event of teams being equal on points the following criteria will decide the final group ranking;

i. Total number of points.

ii. Total number of games won in regulation time.

iii. Total number of all games won (regulation, overtime and penalties).

iv. The results of games played between the relevant teams by applying points won, games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

v. Fewest regulation losses.

vi. Using away games: – points won, games won in regulation time, all games won

(regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

vii. Goals scored.

viii. Goal Difference

ix. Fewest Penalty Minutes (Fair Play)

x. In the unlikely event of teams still being equal, teams will be ranked by the drawing of lots. Any prize monies determined by the position in a league or group by this means will be shared equally by the tying teams.

xi. Where a group of two or more teams is tied, then whenever a team can be eliminated due to the above order of priority, it shall be, by applying each of the above stages in order of such priority.

d. In groups B and C where we have 4 teams compared to the 3 teams in group A, in both group B and C, the results and all statistics from the games teams played against the bottom placed team are removed and the group adjusted accordingly (to give comparable parity to group A)

e. The top seeded team from group A, B and C automatically move on to the Knockout stage seeded 1 – 3 according to their total points

f. The remaining 6 teams are ranked 4 – 9 with the 9th placed team not progressing to the Knockout stage of the competition.

g. The seedings for the knockout stages of the competition are finalized based on the following criteria:

i. Total number of points.

ii. Total number of games won in regulation time.

iii. Total number of all games won (regulation, overtime and penalties).

iv. The results of games played between the relevant teams by applying points won, games won in regulation time, all games won (regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority. Not applicable due to the group stage nature of the event

v. Fewest regulation losses.

vi. Using away games: – points won, games won in regulation time, all games won

(regulation time/overtime/penalties), in that order of priority.

vii. Goals scored.

viii. Goal Difference

ix. Fewest Penalty Minutes (Fair Play)

x. In the unlikely event of teams still being equal, teams will be ranked by the drawing of lots. Any prize monies determined by the position in a league or group by this means will be shared equally by the tying teams.

xi. Where a group of two or more teams is tied, then whenever a team can be eliminated due to the above order of priority, it shall be, by applying each of the above stages in order of such priority.

2. Knockout Stages:

a. The teams placed 1-8 after the qualification stage of the Challenge Cup Competition play in the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup in a two-legged aggregate score series of games with the overall winner of each series progressing further in the competition.

b. By finishing ranked first after the qualification stage of the competition the highest seeded team has earned the right to choose its opposition from the teams placed fifth to eight. The second placed team picks next from the team left in the 5-to-8-group, then the third placed team picks from the teams left and finally, the team placed fourth after the qualification stage plays the team that has not been picked yet. Home Ice option remains with the first to fourth placed team.

c. The Semi-finals also will feature the four Quarterfinal Winners and is also played a two-legged aggregate score series of games with the overall winner of each series progressing further in the competition. The best-placed team after the last qualification round still left in the competition plays the lowest seeded team after the last qualification round and the second best-placed team plays the lower seated team. Home Ice option remains with the highest seeded teams remaining.

d. Both winning Semi Finalist will play in the Challenge Cup Final. The Challenge Cup Final is a standalone final game played at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff, March 10th 2019.

PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

For the 2018/2019 season, the EIHL league winners will represent the EIHL in the Champions Hockey League, while the playoff winners will represent the EIHL in the Continental Cup. If a team cannot participate in either competition, then the order of teams’ choice for participation in each tournament is as follows:

a. Champions Hockey League – League Winners;

b. IIHF Continental Cup – Playoff Winners;

c. Next open spot if not taken by one of the teams above – Challenge Cup Winner;

d. Next open spot if not taken by one of the teams above – League Runners Up.