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New cup final format
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New Challenge Cup format for 2024/25

The Elite Ice Hockey League is pleased to confirm a new format for the 2024/25 Challenge Cup, agreed by its 10 teams as planning begins for the new season.


Under the new format, 10 teams will compete across two groups for places in the Semi-Finals.


“The biggest feedback for improvement in the 2022 Fan Survey was that we needed to address the Challenge Cup format, a subject the teams were also keen to address. It was something we have been looking at during the course of this season,” said Head of Operations Mike Hicks.


“We needed to find a solution that worked for all 10 teams as equal stakeholders, not simply benefit a few, and we’re pleased that the teams have come together to agree a new format for the coming season.

“This format offers us a solution that works for all teams, while also improving the sporting integrity of the competition with teams now fighting it out for four places in the Semi-Finals, which we hope will create greater excitement during the round robin phase.”


Group Stage

Group A: Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Guildford Flames, Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers

Group B: Belfast Giants, Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers, Glasgow Clan


Teams in Group A will play each other once at home, and once away. Teams in Group B will play on a two-home, two-away basis.


Straight to the Semi-Finals

Teams will be playing for four places in the Semi-Finals – there will be no Quarter-Finals.


The winners of Group A and B, as well as the runners up in Group A, will go directly into the Semi-finals.


The Runners-Up in Group B will face the Third-placed team in Group A in a special ‘play-in’ round to decide the final place in the Semi-Finals. This will be a one-off game, played at the home arena of the team with the higher points percentage from the Group Stage.


Whichever of the two group winners enters the Semi-Finals with the best points percentage from the Group Stage will be awarded the ability to choose their Semi-Final opponents (excluding the other group winners).

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