Only one week to go!!
By now you will know Belfast plays host to the Continental Cup Semi-Final, the International Ice-Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) prestigious tournament, on Thursday 15th – Saturday 17th November.
If you haven’t got your tickets yet – then what are you waiting for!? Fans have two ticketing options – the Tournament Pass (all six games with over 30% discount on Giants single game tickets) and the Day Pass (Two games on your chosen day for the same price as a Giants single game)! Click here for all the information you need, including our VIP Hospitality Packages.
It promises to be an action packed and thrilling three days of hockey at The SSE Arena as the Giants return to European action. With only one month remaining – here is your essential guide to the Continental Cup Semi-Final…
The Giants qualified for the IIHF Continental Cup by winning the 2017/18 Challenge Cup, defeating the Cardiff Devils 6-3 in the final on Sunday 4th March.
The Giants automatically make it to the Semi-Final thanks to our European ranking and then the IIHF unanimously decided to award the tournament to our wee country at the congress in Hungary last June.
The Giants, the Odyssey Trust and The SSE Arena submitted a bid worthy of hosting yet another renowned event…and we are now only one month away from the puck drop!
The Continental Cup is no stranger to the Giants, participating on three previous occasions. First, back in 2002/03 when we qualified as Superleague Champions then hosted & won a memorable Semi-Final tournament in Belfast to advance onto the Super Final.
The Giants won all three Semi-Final games against Valerenga (Norway), Dragons de Rouen (France) and EHC Black Wings Linz (Austria).
The Super Final took place in Milan, Italy and Lugano, Switzerland where the Giants faced some of the best of European hockey. We lost the first game against hosts HC Lugano and then defeated the famed HC Davos 4-2.
The Giants finished a respectable 6th overall after a final game defeat to HC Slovan Bratislava.
The Giants next appearance was in the 2012/13 Quarter-Final in Landshut, Germany after winning the 2011/12 Elite League title. The Belfast side finished second in the group, failing to advance to the next round, with a defeat to the host Landshut Cannibals sandwiched between victories over HSC Csikszerada of Romania and the Netherlands’ Eaters Geleen.
The most recent Continental Cup appearance was in 2014/15. The Quarter-Final round was hosted in Bremerhaven, Germany and the Giants came through a group of the host Fischtown Pinguins, CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria and Tilburg Trappers of the Netherlands.
The Semi-Final stage in Angers, France saw the Giants agonisingly miss out on a place in the Super Final, losing out on goal difference! The Giants defeated Poland’s KH Sanok and the eventual winners Neman Grodno of Belarus, losing out to the hosts Angers Ducs.
The Giants will face Italy’s Ritten Sport, Medvescak Zagreb from Croatia and Poland’s GKS Katowice.
The Semi-Final stage sees two games taking place on each day in Belfast with the top two teams advancing to the Final stage in January in a location still to be decided.
Medvescak Zagreb will line up with some familiar faces and none more so than Sebastien Sylvestre – the Giants leading scorer last season and scorer of THAT goal!
Also in the Zagreb team are Yann Sauvé (ex Panthers), John Armstrong (ex Steelers), David Brine (ex Devils) and Greg Mauldin (ex NHL – 36 games).
GKS Katowice can boast a number of Polish international stars and an experienced Head Coach in Tom Coolen. Coolen, a former assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres as well as the Latvia national team, is in his second full season with Katowice.
Did we mention there is only one week to go!?
The Giants will open their Continental Cup campaign on Thursday 15th November against Medvescak Zagreb following the earlier game that day of GKS Katowice vs Ritten Sport.
The two games on each of the three tournament days will face-off 3pm and 7pm – check out the full schedule below.
Thursday 15th November
3pm – GKS Katowice vs Ritten Sport
7pm – Medvescak Zagreb vs Stena Line Belfast Giants
Friday 16th November
3pm – GKS Katowice vs Medvescak Zagreb
7pm – Stena Line Belfast Giants vs Ritten Sport
Saturday 17th November
3pm – Ritten Sport vs Medvescak Zagreb
7pm – Stena Line Belfast Giants vs GKS Katowice
Where else!? The SSE Arena, Belfast – home of the Giants! Our Arena will once again be transformed into an international ice-hockey venue with fans from across Europe cheering on their respective teams!
Make sure you download The SSE Arena app for exclusive discounts on food and drinks as well as all the info you need on our awesome venue!