The Elite Ice Hockey League is to adopt an innovative way of determining the quarter-final matchups for the Challenge Cup – allowing the group winners from the round robin stage to choose their own opponent.
“We wanted to find a way to make the group stages of the Challenge Cup as meaningful as possible, and to reward the group winners.” Elite League Chairman Tony Smith said.
“This change will do that, whilst also adding an extra element to the competition.
“Those top seeded teams will really need to think about who they want to face in the quarter-finals, who they think they will match up well against.
“Equally those teams chosen as the opponents won’t want to be seen as some kind of ‘weak link’ – it will give them an extra point to prove as they look to progress in the competition themselves.
“We think this will create a real buzz among fans, as they too weigh up each potential matchup. We have seen other leagues, such as the EBEL and Metal Ligaen, use similar ideas and the Elite League is proud to join them at the cutting edge in this way.”
The three group winners will be seeded 1 to 3.
The other five qualifiers (three group runners up and the two best third placed teams) will be seeded 4 to 8.
Seedings will be determined based on the Elite League’s normal criteria – namely:
2. Regulation Wins
3. Total Wins
Should two teams still be equal after following the above criteria, details of the full list of EIHL table criteria can be found here