Cardiff Devils start their run-in towards Elite League title glory against Edinburgh Capitals this evening (Saturday).
The reigning champions are intent on finishing the regular season on a high and still have three trophies in their sights.
Coach Andrew Lord and his players won’t look beyond their sell-out home clash with bottom club Capitals on Saturday evening (7pm).
But they could effectively win the title as early as next Wednesday when bitter rivals Sheffield Steelers are visitors to Ice Arena Wales.
That has the potential to be a wild night in Cardiff Bay if results go the right way.
Devils have put their Challenge Cup final defeat against Belfast Giants behind them and face refocused after a full week of training at the IAW.
“Our focus is on Edinburgh and nothing else,” says Lord. “We have a huge run-in to the end of this season. We’ve worked hard through this week.
“We have to come out flying and get back on track.”
Devils are also chasing the Erhardt Conference title, while the end-of-season PredictorBet play-off championships start at the end of this month.
Lord’s man are eight points clear at the top of the Elite League, while they also have a game in hand on second-placed Manchester as the 2017-18 season enters the home straight.
Visitors Edinburgh are going into their fifth game in seven days, but they are out to upset the odds and snap a six-game losing streak to finish the season on a high.
Referees: Matt Rose and Dean Smith
BELFAST GIANTS v BRAEHEAD CLAN (SSE Arena, Belfast, 7pm)
Belfast Giants will show off the Challenge Cup they won in Cardiff before their match against Braehead Clan.
Giants are on a massive high after winning their first silverware in four years, while Braehead have taken four points in the last seven days with wins over Sheffield Steelers and Edinburgh Capitals.
Bearded are eighth in Elite League and chasing qualification for the PredictorBet play-offs.
Two points in Belfast would be massive for John Tripp Clan, especially with rivals Coventry Blaze and Dundee Stars playing each other.
Referees: Pavel Halas and Chris Wells
DUNDEE STARS v COVENTRY BLAZE (Dundee Ice Arena, Dundee, 7pm)
Dundee Stars won in Fife on Friday and are feeling good. Their clash with Coventry Blaze is arguably the game of the weekend.
The chase is on for the final play-offs spot. Neither Dundee or Coventry can afford to lose.
Dundee will jump above Coventry if they win, while Blaze have the chance to open a gap.
Referees: Alan Craig and Neil Wilson
MANCHESTER STORM v FIFE FLYERS (Silverblades Ice Rink, Altrincham, 7pm)
Fife Flyers have won the Gardiner Conference and are still chasing their highest ever league placing.
Storm are out to try and bridge the gap between them and leaders Cardiff Devils.
Referees: Tom Darnell and Steve Brown
MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING v GUILDFORD FLAMES (Planet Ice, Milton Keynes, 7pm)
Milton Keynes will be hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive when they take on Patton Conference rivals Guildford on Saturday night.
Lightning are currently 10 points behind eighth-placed Braehead, but have a game in hand on the Clan and ninth-placed Coventry – though it is likely to be a big ask for the Buckinghamshire side to overhaul the points difference at this point in the campaign.
Opponents Guildford are on the cusp of securing their place in the PredictorBet Playoffs, a testament to the success the Surrey side have had during their inaugural campaign in the UK’s top flight.
The Flames are also still in with a chance of winning the Patton Conference, with Paul Dixon’s side currently seven points behind Manchester Storm in the Conference but with four games in hand on their North West rivals.
Referees: Stefan Hogarth and Matt Thompson
NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS vs SHEFFIELD STEELERS (Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, 7pm)
Old rivals Nottingham and Sheffield meet once again at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night, with both clubs looking to book their place in the PredictorBet Playoffs.
After a strong start to the 2017-18 season, which included qualification for the Champions Hockey League knockout stage for the first time, the Panthers have been dogged by inconsistency since December and currently find themselves 7th in the Elite League table.
Despite their position in the league, the East Midlands club can still wrap up a playoff spot this weekend, as can opponents Sheffield.
Paul Thompson’s side are currently fifth in the standings, and like Nottingham effectively ‘in’ for the end of season playoffs, with South Yorkshire side certain to gain the points they need to book their postseason berth – barring a truly monumental collapse.
Referees: Mike Hicks and Andy Dalton
That is the first of six remaining hime league fixtures left this season.
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Peacocks Cardiff Devils remaining fixtures:
Saturday 10 v Edinburgh Capitals H (7pm)
Sunday 11 v Sheffield Steelers A (5pm)
Wednesday 14 v Sheffield Steelers H (7.30pm)
Friday 16 v Belfast Giants A (7pm)
Saturday 17 No game
Sunday 18 v Sheffield Steelers H (6pm)
Wednesday 21 v Manchester Storm H (7.30pm)
Saturday 24 v Belfast Giants H (7pm)
Sunday 25 v MK Lightning H (6pm)
A live stream of the Devils v Capitals match is available via Icetime.tv
The IAW is sold out for this fixture
Live-streams cost £8 if purchased prior to game-day or £10 if purchased on the day of the game.
Minute by minute coverage is also provided free via match night live on the Devils inferno website.
ELITE LEAGUE STANDINGS
ALL TEAMS PLAY 56 MATCHES
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