Phan­toms start with a trip to Sh­effield

Ice hockey

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport -

Peter­bor­ough Phan­toms will launch their English Premier League chal­lenge on the road.

The city team travel to Sh­effield Steel­dogs for their open­ing fix­ture of the 2016/17 sea­son on Satur­day, Septem­ber 10.

Slava Koulikov’s men have their first league out­ing on home ice the fol­low­ing night when wel­com­ing Swin­don Wild­cats to Planet Ice.

A tough start to the cam­paign also fea­tures home and away clashes against reign­ing cham­pi­ons Bas­ingstoke and arch ri­vals Mil­ton Keynes dur­ing Septem­ber.

Phan­toms will face their nine EPL ri­vals six times in all – three at home and three on the road.

The first home and away clashes against each op­po­nent again count to­wards the EPL Cup stand­ings with the top four teams pro­gress­ing to the lat­ter stages. Phan­toms were run­ners-up in that com­pe­ti­tion last sea­son.

The end-of-sea­son play­offs have been re­vamped with the open­ing round now fea­tur­ing two four-team groups rather than two-legged quar­ter-fi­nals.

The teams fin­ish­ing first, fourth, fifth and eighth in the stand­ings will form one group with the sec­ond, third, sixth and sev­enth-placed sides mak­ing up the other.

The top two teams from each group will ad­vance to the fi­nals week­end on April 8-9.

Phan­toms warm up for the new cam­paign with four pre-sea­son chal­lenge clashes.

They face Sh­effield on Au­gust 27 (home) and Au­gust 28 (away) be­fore tak­ing on Mil­ton Keynes in the tra­di­tional ‘Ashes’ clashes on Septem­ber 3 (away) and Septem­ber 4 (home).

Slava Koulikov.

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