Elite League: Giants start defence against Dundee

Giants captain Adam Keefe celebrates with the Elite League trophy in a fourth title success for Belfast

Belfast Giants will begin their defence of the Elite League title away to Dundee Stars in the opening game of the season on Friday, 5 September.

The Giants will stay in Scotland for Challenge Cup games with Braehead on Saturday and Edinburgh on Sunday.

Cardiff host Hull, Coventry visit Fife and Sheffield entertain Dundee in league matches on 6 September.

On Sunday its Cardiff v Sheffield in the Challenge Cup with Coventry v Fife and Hull v Braehead in league games.

Belfast, Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers will once again compete for the Erhardt Conference.

Braehead Clan, Dundee, Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers and Hull Stingrays will play in the Gardiner Conference.

Teams will face other sides in their own conference four times at home and four times away, while meeting sides in the other conference twice at home and twice away for a 52-game season.

The Challenge Cup will remain as two groups of five, followed by two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals, with a stand-alone final at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on 8 March next year.

Challenge Cup Group A consists of Belfast, Braehead, Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife.

Group B is made up of Cardiff, Coventry, Hull, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The final games of the regular season will take place between Friday 20 and Sunday 22 March 2015, with the play-offs commencing the following week.

Play-off finals weekend at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham is on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April 2015.

Nottingham are in Champions League action on the opening weekend of the regular season.

Their first domestic match of the season is 13 September, when they host Cardiff.

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