The 25th champion in the history of this European club competition will be determined in the west of France. HK Nitra, the current leader of the Slovak Extraliga, the Cardiff Devils, the playoff champion of the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League and Asiago Hockey, last year’s Italian champion and winner of the Alps Hockey League, will join the host club Angers Ducs, the runner-up last season in the French Ligue Magnus.
The four teams have recently qualified for the final tournament through their third-round tournaments.
The event will be hosted at the brand-new Angers IceParc. The arena with a capacity for 3,500 fans was opened three years ago. With an average attendance of 3,156 in the current season, it’s the arena with the second-highest attendance in France.
Last spring the arena hosted the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A where France earned promotion to the top division on home ice and set an attendance record for a women’s ice hockey game in the country with 3,586 spectators watching the 4-1 win in the deciding game against Norway.
All four clubs applied to host the final and had previously hosted one of the preliminary-round groups this season. Angers was chosen based on the bid, the facility to accommodate the four teams and officials and travel considerations.
The Continental Cup has been played since 1997/1998. Last year Cracovia Krakow became the first Polish club to win the Continental Cup and played in the Champions Hockey League as Continental Cup winner this season.
During the past 24 editions, four clubs from Slovakia (Kosice 1998, Slovan Bratislava 2004, Zvolen 2005, Martin 2009), one club from France (Rouen, 2012 and 2016) and one from Great Britain (Nottingham, 2017) have been among the Continental Cup winners. No Italian representative has won the Continental Cup yet.
The game schedule will be established and published on the event website on IIHF.com in due course.