Cardiff to host Continental Cup Final
by Henrik MANINNEN|04 DEC 2023
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
The 2024 IIHF Continental Cup Final will be contested in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, Great Britain from 12 to 14 January 2024.
Expected to be backed to the tilt by its vociferous fans, Cardiff Devils will take on GKS Katowice of Poland, Kazakhstan´s Nomad and Herning Blue Fox from Denmark in a three-day-long feast of hockey inside the 3,088-capacity Vindico Arena in Cardiff.
The final round of the Continental Cup is decided in a single round-robin series. Each of the four evenly matched teams plays each other once with the top-ranked team awarded the Continental Cup winners' plate and gold medals.
History will also be in the making as none of the four participants vying for top-spot in the 2024 IIHF Continental Cup Final have previously won gold. But don't expect any stage fright, as the quartet has all recent experience from competing in the final round.
Herning and Nomad in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Katowice finished third in 2019, a position equaled by Cardiff in their Continental Cup debut last season.
The Continental Cup was launched in 1997 as a successor to the European Cup. Now in its 26th year, it offers teams from Europe’s emerging leagues an opportunity to compete against international opposition.
19 clubs from as many European countries have participated in the 2024 edition of the Continental Cup. With the first puck of the competition dropped in September this year, three round-robin stages have since been contested.
Nomad and Devils booked their places in the final by grabbing the top-two spots from Group E in Round 3 staged in Grenoble, France between 17-19 November 2023. Katowice and Herning joined the party that same weekend after finishing first and second respectively in Group F played in Italy´s Cortina D´Ampezzo.
With the four Continental Cup finalists set to congregate in Cardiff in January, it will be for the culmination of a tournament truly living up to its name as a time difference of six hours separates hosts Devils and Nomad from Kazakhstan.
Cardiff Devils is the second club skating in the British-based Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) to have been awarded to stage the Final of the competition. The 2018 IIHF Continental Cup Final saw hosts Belfast Giants finish in second place.