Sheffield Steelers begin EIHL season against Manchester Storm and Cardiff Devils
Sheffield Steelers will open their EIHL season with weekend games against Manchester Storm and Cardiff Devils (away and then home) on September 25-26.
The season's fixtures were released today by the Elite League.
It should be the first full ice hockey campaign since the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.
The opener in Altrincham is the beginning of Sheffield's defence of the Challenge Cup they won in 2020.
The following night's visit by Cardiff to Attercliffe (4pm) is Steelers' first game of the regular league season.
Cardiff won the EIHL division in 2017/18 and 2018/19 and were in the driving seat to collect the silverware again when the pandemic finished the tournament early and without conclusion.
The Devils will be looking for a third consecutive title - but will have to blood in a new coach first, Jarrod Skalde.
The Steelers-Cardiff game at the Arena will be the first home match since February 29, 2020 when Steelers took on Fife Flyers.
One of the most significant games of any Steeler season is always the post Christmas fixtures against Nottingham Panthers and coach Aaron Fox's men will host the Boxing Day match-up at the Arena.
The first time the two huge rivals will collide, however, will be on October 16 at the Arena in the Cup.
That will be followed the following day with the first trip to Dundee Stars.
Domestic matters will be put on hold for the Continental Cup (November 19-21.)
The traditional two-night away session at Belfast Giants falls on December 17 and 18.
Four days later, they take on Glasgow Clan for the first time of the campaign.
The Scots are delayed starters to the campaign, having withdrawn from the Challenge Cup. The club said they were having trouble meeting the "timeline" after the lockdown.
Sheffield conclude their League programme at home to Belfast on April 10, 2022.
The Play Off post season starts six days later, with the final on April 24.
Arena crowd favourite Mathieu Roy, who played 273 games for Steelers, scoring an astonishing 297 points, is returning to Glasgow as a player assistant coach.
Clan also re-signed Doncaster-born former Steeler and Sheffield Scimitars player Matt Haywood.