Cardiff Devils learn Champions League opponents

Cardiff Devils
Cardiff Devils claimed a double of Challenge Cup and Elite League last season

Cardiff Devils will face Swiss, Czech and Swedish opposition in the 2017/18 Champions Hockey League.

The Elite League champions were pitted against HC Davos from Switzerland, Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic and Sweden's Vaxjo Lakers in Group E after Wednesday's draw in Cologne.

Each team plays the others in their group home and away, with the top two teams progressing to the last 16.

Group E top seeds the Lakers were beaten in the semi-finals last year.

Nottingham Panthers, who qualified by winning the Continental Cup, face the champions of Switzerland Bern, Mountfield of the Czech Republic and Finnish side Turku in Group F.

The opening games of the competition are scheduled to be played on Thursday, 24 August and the group stage finishes on Wednesday, 11 October.

Devils head coach Andrew Lord is excited with his group and looking forward to the competition.

"We have drawn three great clubs and I am looking forward to the challenge of the CHL," said Lord.

"I am sure our fans will be excited to see these teams play us in Cardiff, and for those looking to travel there are three great places to visit.

"The group we are in is tough but, in reality, they are all tough. It's the Champions Hockey League and we didn't plan, hope or expect to somehow get an easier draw.

"No matter who we would have drawn, you can look and see how tough the group would be. We wanted to get teams and places that our fans would want to see play at home and away."

With 16 teams qualifying for the play-offs, four rounds are required to determine the European club champions.

The first three knock-out rounds - which start on Tuesday, 31 October - are all two game, home and away, aggregate-scoring series.

The one-game final is set for Tuesday, 6 February 2018.

Top Stories