Belfast Giants face lengthy stretch of away matches in bid for Elite League glory
Adam Keefe will have to steer his Belfast Giants team through another lengthy stretch of away games if they after to get their hands on the Elite League title.
Last season the Giants had to endure a six-week run on the road from mid-November to late December due to other events at the SSE Arena.
This time Keefe will have to prepare his men for a similar spell with concerts from some of the world's biggest acts as well as other musical events and a pantomime meaning they will have just one home league game from mid-October until the weekend before Christmas.
Giants fans won't be completely starved of competitive home action in that time as the club will be hosting the semi-final round of the Continental Cup from November 15-17, but Keefe will still have to deal with a second successive irregular fixture schedule.
The season will begin on Saturday, September 8 when the Giants travel to the Dundee Stars for a Challenge Cup game, followed by another away game against Fife Flyers 24 hours later.
The home opener comes on Friday, September 14 when Dundee come to Belfast for their return Challenge Cup group game, with the newly renamed Glasgow Clan the opponents 24 hours later.
The Elite League campaign has an unusual midweek start for the Giants, when they face the Nottingham Panthers at the SSE Arena on Wednesday, September 19.
There will be no matches on December 26 or 27 and the Giants first post-Christmas match will be against Milton Keynes Lightning on Friday December 28, followed by a game against the Clan 24 hours later.
After their long run of away games in late autumn and early winter the Giants can look forward to four weeks of home matches from mid-December to mid-January and they have only nine away games after the turn of the year.