Belfast Giants will take on the Cardiff Devils in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final. The First Leg takes place in Cardiff at the home of the Elite League leaders on Wednesday 1st February, face-off 7:30pm, with the Second and deciding Leg in Belfast on Wednesday 8th February, face-off 7pm.

The Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg against the Cardiff Devils will be one of our biggest games of the season and we need your help to pack the SSE Arena! We have a few ideas to help you get behind the Giants and cheer them on as we attempt to advance to the Final on Sunday 5th March in Cardiff in a competition last won by the Giants in 2009:

Regular tickets for the Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg on Wednesday 8th February will go on sale soon at £10 for Adults and £5 for Concessions & Children. Tickets will be available online from Ticketmaster, in person at all Ticketmaster Outlets as well as the Arena Box Office in person and by calling (028) 9073 9074. As soon as the tickets go on sale, we will let you know right here on the official website and on our social media channels.

Season Ticket Holders – the Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg is included in your 2016/17 package, all you have to do is enter the Arena on game night using your membership card as usual.

Also – we are offering Season Ticket Holders a free ticket to the Semi-Final 2nd Leg on Wednesday 8th February to bring along your friends, family, colleagues or whoever you like! Therefore, if you have a Season Ticket account with 2 Season Tickets, you can claim 2 free tickets and if you are a Family of 4, you can claim 4 free tickets etc.

Many Season Ticket Holders have more than one Season Ticket in their account, however if you have one Season Ticket and you are worried that the seat beside you is already taken – remember between Door 15-16, aka Boomerang Corner, is unreserved seating and you are able to cheer on the team there with your friend/family member etc. The Giants will be in contact with all Season Ticket Holders via email within the next week with the details on how to claim your free tickets using Ticketmaster Online only.

For Devils fans not making the trip to Belfast – a live stream will be available from Belfast Giants TV at http://live.belfastgiants.com.

Let’s make the Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg at The SSE Arena, Belfast one to remember – Bring on the Devils!

SO JUST WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE CUP!?

The 2016/17 season is over halfway and you might be wondering what the Challenge Cup is and how the competition plays out during the season – well fear not, here is your guide to the Challenge Cup!

The Competition

The Challenge Cup is hosted each season by the Elite League and is one of four competitions with the others being the Conference Title, League Championship and the Playoff Championship.

The first eleven Elite League Challenge Cup Finals were contested over two legs with the final returning to a single game in Sheffield Arena in the 2014/15 season and the current holders are the Nottingham Panthers, who defeated the previous holders, the Cardiff Devils, 1-0 in overtime in the 2015/16 final, also at Sheffield Arena.

Winners

Since 2003, the Nottingham Panthers are the Challenge Cup’s most successful team, having won the title eight times. The Coventry Blaze and the Cardiff Devils have each won the cup twice.

…and the Giants?
Of course! The Giants claimed the 2008/09 Challenge Cup, defeating the Manchester Phoenix 6-5 on aggregate. Manchester won the 1st Leg 4-3 at home, however the Giants came back spectacularly with a 3-1 win at home to lift the trophy for the first time in history.

Groups?

The current format of the competition has two Groups, A & B, with teams playing each other twice, once at home & once away.

Challenge Cup Group A consists of the Stena Line Belfast Giants, Braehead Clan, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals and Fife Flyers.

Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Nottingham Panthers, Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers compete in Group B.

It’s A Knock-Out!

When the Group stages end, the winners of the two groups will play the fourth-placed team in the opposite side of the draw. The second-placed teams will play the third-placed team in the other group.

These games will be played over two legs, with the highest-seeded team from the group stage getting the choice of if they want to play at home or away first.

The semi-final line-up is an open draw, with the highest-ranked team from the group getting the choice of if they want to play the first leg at home or away. If two teams of the same rank are drawn together, then it will be down to the teams’ records in the group stages.

Final?

The 2016/17 Challenge Cup Final will be hosted in Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff on Sunday 5th March 2017.

So, what’s next?

Currently the Giants are into the Semi-Final stage after winning Group A and dramatically defeating the Manchester Storm in the Quarter Final 7-6 on aggregate.

The Semi-Final 1st Leg takes place in Cardiff at the home of the Elite League leaders on Wednesday 1st February, face-off 7:30pm, with the 2nd and deciding Leg in Belfast on Wednesday 8th February, face-off 7pm.