Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants to have home advantage for Continental Cup challenge

By Adam McKendry

The International Ice Hockey Federation have announced that the SSE Arena will host the Belfast Giants' Continental Cup group in November.

Ice hockey's world governing body have confirmed that the Belfast arena will play host to Group E of the tournament, which includes the Giants.

The draw for the group stages has also been made and will see Adam Keefe's side come up against the winners of Qualifying Group B, Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia) and GKS Katowice (Poland).

Qualifying Group B contains Ritten Sport (Italy), MAC Budapest (Hungary), Acroni Jesenice (Slovenia) and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade (Serbia).

Belfast are the Elite League's representatives in the tournament courtesy of their Challenge Cup win over the Cardiff Devils last season.

Medvescak Zagreb of the EBEL will be the favourites to win the group, and feature a few familiar names for Giants fans in former Nottingham Panthers d-men Kyle Hardy and Yann Sauve, and also ex-Cardiff Devils forward David Brine.

Forward Mario Puskarich is another who will be familiar, but not as a former opponent. The American-Croatian played in the 2016 Friendship Four for the University of Vermont.

GKS Katowice are less familiar, however they will be to the likes of Colin Shields and Paul Swindlehurst as they feature some of the Polish national side who faced Great Britain in the World Championships.

The dates and times for the games will be announced in due course.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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