Second annual tournament to take place at Panthers IceDen
While the month of December is known for chilly temperatures and festive greetings, the action inside the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, Florida, will be heating up. The venue will host the second annual Champions League tournament from Dec. 28 – 31st. Eight 2009-born teams from Europe and North America will tangle in a rare international event.
|Florida Alliance (United States)||Mountfield HK (Czech Republic)|
|Seacoast Performance Academy (United States)||Geneve Futur Hockey (Switzerland)|
|NA North Stars (North America)||Kiekko-Espoo (Finland)|
|HC Slovan (Slovakia)||Tappara (Finland)|
Any teams from similar countries will be split into different groups so that pool play provides unique international competition. After completing three preliminary-round games, teams will qualify for either the championship rounds or consolation rounds, based on in-pool standings. After a day of rest, the championship rounds will be held, where competition will follow an elimination-style playoff.
In some instances, there are also rosters that have been compiled to be all-star squads of sorts. Tappara and Kiekko-Espoo usually have numerous split quads for a majority of their regular season. Then, come tournament time, they compile the ‘best of the best’ players into one unit to strut their stuff on the big stage.
Three of the split squads from Kiekko-Espoo have been mainstays in the Top 10 of Finland in the WHH World Rankings. In the latest installment, K-Espoo Blues I, K-Espoo Blues II and K-Espoo EPS I hold positions as No. 1, No. 2 and No. 8, respectively.
In similar fashion, the NA North Stars are a melting pot of players from varying teams across North America.
Don’t count out teams like the Florida Alliance or Seacoast Performance Academy from making some noise at this year’s tournament. The Alliance have played some close games against the best in America. It certainly helps when your coach is two-time Stanley Cup champion Trevor Daley.
To take a deeper look into some of the more prominent matchups, click HERE.