Champions Hockey League: Giants and Devils begin group campaigns at home

Belfast Giants' Blair Riley pictured with the Elite Ice Hockey League trophy
This season will mark the Giants' first appearance in Europe's elite competition

Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils begin their Champions Hockey League campaigns with back-to-back home matches.

Giants face Czech team Liberec White Tigers on their debut in Europe's elite tournament on 29 August, then Augsburger Panthers of Germany in Group C on 31 August.

Cardiff Devils host Czech Republic's Mountfield HK on 30 August and Austria's Graz 99ers two days later.

The pool stages run from late August to October.

Giants, the Challenge Cup holders, will finish their group campaign with home and away matches against 2015 winners Lulea.

Devils' first away game in Group H will be at Mountfield on 5 September and Graz two days later before rounding out the group stages with visit to Sweden to play Frölunda Indians on 8 October before the return match against the same opponents on 15 October.

Last season the Welsh club ended their European campaign winless in Group G.

The Giants' first away game will be against Liberec in round three on 5 September and they will travel to Germany to face Augsburger in round four just three days later.

Swedish top seeds Lulea will visit Belfast on 8 October before the Giants then visit the former champions in the final round on 15 October.