BUDAPEST – The International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed the format, groups and teams of the 2009-2010 Continental Cup at a meeting with the club representatives on Saturday in Budapest. The Super Final will be played in Grenoble, France.
The Continental Cup Big Plate will be at stake in the French Alps in Grenoble. Not for French cuisine but for the challengers of the Continental Cup. The host team, Grenoble Brûleurs de Loups (“Wolve Burners”), and the Belarusian champion Yunost Minsk are automatically seeded for the Super Final in January 2010. Two qualifiers will join them.
After a successful tournament last winter in Rouen, with a packed arena even for games without the host team, the final tournament was awarded to France for the second consecutive time. The assignment crowns a year full of success for Grenoble after they won the “triple” with the Ligue Magnus, the French Cup and the League Cup.
It will be the sixth participation for Grenoble in the 1997-established Continental Cup. The last international appearance of the team was when it hosted the 2007-2008 Continental Cup third-round tournament where they lost the deciding game for the last berth in the final tournament in a shoot-out against Denmark’s Aalborg. Also ten years earlier they missed the final in a close game, a 3-2 loss to Eisbären Berlin.
The two qualifiers will be determined by a three-stage qualification. Same as last year, 19 teams from as many countries, almost all of them national champions, will participate in the competition. Last year, the Super Final was won by Slovakia’s MHC Martin.2009-2010 IIHF Continental Cup
First round, September 25-27, 2009:
Group A in Ankara, Turkey: Polis Akademisi Ankara (TUR), Herzliya Pituah (ISR), FC Barcelona (ESP), Slavia Sofia (BUL).Second round, October 23-25, 2009:
Group B in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania: SC Miercurea Ciuc (ROU), Ujpest Budapest (HUN), HYS The Hague (NED), Winner Group A.
Group C in Krakow, Poland: Cracovia Krakow (POL), Tallinn Stars (EST), Energija Elektrenai (LTU), Sary-Arka Karaganda (KAZ).Third round, November 27-29, 2009:
Group D in Bolzano, Italy: Bolzano Foxes (ITA), Sheffield Steelers (GBR), HDK Maribor (SLO), Winner Group B.
Group E in Liepaja, Latvia: Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT), Sokil Kyiv (UKR), Red Bull Salzburg (AUT), Winner Group C.Super Final, January 15-17, 2010:
Group F in Grenoble, France: Grenoble Brûleurs de Loups (FRA), Yunost Minsk (BLR), Winner Group D, Winner Group E.Click here for a list with all Continental Cup winners.