Cardiff Devils players celebrate in front of fans after winning the 2016-17 Elite League title.

Cardiff Devils Prepare Big Start to 2017-18 Ice Hockey Season

Cardiff Devils will start playing again in mid-August.

The Elite League ice hockey champions have confirmed their pre-season fixtures and three of them are at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay.

Player-Coach Andrew Lord and his team have their first challenge game against Nottingham Panthers away on Saturday, August 12, while they also take on Nottingham, Braehead and top Germany club Krefeld Penguins at home.

Devils play Panthers and Clan in the Aladdin Cup, a three-team mini tournament.

Krefeld play in the top German League, the DEL.

Cardiff and Nottingham are both taking part in the European Champions Hockey League, which is expected to start the weekend of Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27. Cardiff qualify as League champions, while Panthers are in because they won the Continental Cup.

Pre-season schedule:

August

Saturday 12 Nottingham Panthers v Cardiff Devils (Aladdin Cup, away, 7pm)

Sunday 13 Cardiff Devils v Nottingham Panthers (home, 6pm)

Saturday 19 Cardiff Devils v Braehead Clan (Aladdin Cup, home, 7pm).

Sunday 20 Cardiff Devils v Krefeld Penguins (home, 6pm)

Tickets for all pre-season games are expected to go on sale.

Elite League saw a fantastic 12 per cent growth in attendances during the 2016/17 season compared to the previous campaign.

More than 940,000 people watched Elite League hockey, smashing last year’s record by almost 100,000 as league attendances went rise for a fourth straight year.

Cardiff Devils were among clubs who attracted sell-out attendances, while both the Challenge Cup final and Play-off finals weekend were sold out.

Elite League now boasts the seventh highest average league attendance in Europe and Asia according to an International Ice Hockey Federation study, ahead of Austria, Slovakia and Denmark.

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