The Cardiff Devils are set to host the 3rd round of the 2022/23 IIHF Continental cup this weekend.

Cardiff Devils prepare for weekend of Euro hockey

For the first time, Ice Arena Wales is hosting the third round of hockey’s second-level continental tournament

EUROPEAN competition is coming to come to Cardiff this weekend providing an alternative to rugby and football for the city’s sports fans.

The Cardiff Devils are set to kickstart their 2022/23 IIHF Continental cup campaign at home this weekend with three days of fixtures lined up.

The Devils will face Latvian side Zemgale Jelgava, French side Ducs d’Angers, and Slovenian side Acroni Jesenice in group E, with all the games taking place at their home arena in Cardiff.

Elsewhere in group F HK Nitra from Slovakia will host Unia Oswiecim from Poland, HK Kremenchuk from Ukraine, and Asiago Hockey from Italy.

The top two teams from both groups will then play the final round in January, with the winners qualifying for the 2023/24 Champions Hockey league.

The Devils come into the competition off the back of a difficult start to the 2022/23 Elite Ice Hockey League but will be looking to build momentum off last Sundays 4-1 home win against Manchester Storm.

“For us you know it’s a great way to obviously see where we sit among the rest of the European leagues,” said head coach Brodie Dupont who led the Devils to the 2022 EIHL play-off title alongside assistant coach Neil Francis.

“It’s a tournament that we feel very comfortable that we could come in and win and we’re playing in Cardiff (so) we have that advantage.”

Dupont’s side will kickstart the round on Friday evening against Angers Ducs, with the French outfit coming into the match following a strong start to their domestic season.

The team from Angers find themselves in third place in the Ligue Magnus, the topflight of French hockey, following back-to-back wins against Boxers de Bordeaux and Pionniers de Chamonix Mont-Blanc.

The Devils will then face off against four-time Slovenian champions Acroni Jesenice on Saturday in what could prove to be a vital game for the hosts.

The team from Jesenice were formed following the demise of former Yugoslav and Slovenian hockey giants HK Acroni Jesenice and have carried on their forbearer’s legacy of success in both the Slovenian league and the Alps Hockey League where they find themselves in first after winning 13 out of 14 games so far this season.

Sunday evening’s finale will see the Devils face Latvian side Zemgale Jelgava who play in both the Latvian top flight as well as the Finnish second tier.

The side from Jelgava have struggled domestically this season but have managed to scrape together back-to-back wins in the Latvian Hockey League to end a four-game losing streak.

Devils coach and former New York Rangers man Dupont was quick to note the high-quality of opposition presented to his side.

“It’s going to be a challenge but it’s a lot of fun,” said Dupont.

“These are good teams and good leagues, they’ve had to qualify for this tournament so it’s not like they’re just putting their name in the hat. They’ve had to win hockey games to get here.”

  • Tickets for this weekend’s games are available for sale on Cardiff Devils official website or alternatively you can call their ticket office on 0800 0842 666.