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Giants learn date they'll kick off their quest for European success

 

By Stuart McKinley

The Belfast Giants' challenge for European glory will begin on Thursday, November 15.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has confirmed that the Continental Cup semi-final round, which the Giants will host in the SSE Arena, will be played from November 15-17 - starting a day earlier than the other semi-final round in France.

The fixture schedule has yet to be released, but Giants coach Adam Keefe does know that his men will face Croatian champions Medvescak Zagreb and GKS Katowice of Poland, with the top two teams progressing.

The fourth team in the group will be decided in October when the quarter-final rounds take place.

The final stage of the Continental Cup - which is ice hockey's equivalent to football's Europa League - is scheduled for January 11-13 and the venue will be decided when the four qualifiers are known.

The Giants reached an eight-team Super Final competition in the 2002-03 season, when they ultimately came sixth in Europe.

Keefe will want to emulate the Nottingham Panthers' achievements two seasons ago, when they became the first Elite League team to win the Continental Cup. Last season, the Sheffield Steelers finished third.

Belfast Telegraph

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