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European "Champions Hockey League" starts in One Hour

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Gameday 1 Schedule here!

I'll give you one guess as to who I'm rooting for.
I'll give you one guess as to who I'm rooting for.

The soccer fans among us should already be aware of the vaunted UEFA Champions Champions League. The top teams from all of the leagues in Europe play each other in a massive tournament to determine who, truly, is the best. Bayern Munich won it 2 years ago, it was pretty great.

Well, hockey decided that it wanted to have their own Champion's Hockey League. It kicks off today with a group stage that will last until the beginning of the NHL season. Teams will play 6 games within the 11 different groups, home and away against each opponent.

The winners of the groups, along with the 5 best second-place teams, will advance to a 16-team playoff. The format of the playoffs is a set of home and away games for single elimination. The final will be a single game. Here are the dates:

  • Sweet 16: November 4th and 11th, 2014
  • Elite 8: December 2nd and 9th, 2014
  • Semi-finals: January 13th and 20th, 2015
  • Final: February 3rd, 2015
  • Here's the schedule of gamedays today, with what I believe are times in Eastern Time. You can watch games at www.championshockeyleague.com for 5 euros (for all games for that gameday):

    Day Time Group Venue Home Away
    Today 11:00 AM Group H CEZ Arena Ostrava Vítkovice Ostrava ERC Ingolstadt
    Today 11:30 AM Group E Werk Arena Oceláři Třinec SC Bern
    Today 12:30 PM Group E Hakametsa Tappara Tampere Stavanger Oilers
    Today 12:30 PM Group G Kuopion Jaahalli KalPa Kuopio Sparta Prague
    Today 1:30 PM Group A Lanxess Arena Kölner Haie HC Kosice
    Today 1:30 PM Group B Albert-Schultz-Eishalle Vienna Capitals Färjestad Karlstad
    Today 1:30 PM Group J Konig Palast Krefeld Pinguine Skellefteå AIK
    Today 1:45 PM Group B Kunsteisbahn im Chreis ZSC Lions Zurich Vålerenga Oslo
    Today 1:45 PM Group C Patinoire des Vernets Genève-Servette Frölunda Gothenburg
    Today 1:45 PM Group C Patinoire Rene Froger Briançon Diables Rouges Villach SV
    Today 1:45 PM Group H Bossard Arena EV Zug SaiPa Lappeenranta
    Today 2:00 PM Group A Tipsport Arena Liberec Bílí Tygři Liberec Kärpät Oulu
    Today 2:00 PM Group J SE Arena Sønderjyske Vojens IFK Helsinki
    Today 2:05 PM Group D Hovet Djurgården Stockholm Fribourg-Gottéron
    Today 2:05 PM Group G Vida Arena Växjö Lakers Adler Mannheim
    Fri 12:30 PM Group F HK Areena TPS Turku HC Bolzano
    Fri 12:30 PM Group I Synergia-Areena JYP Jyväskylä Red Bull Salzburg
    Fri 1:00 PM Group K National Ice Centre Nottingham Panthers Lukko Rauma
    Fri 1:00 PM Group D O2 World Berlin Eisbären Berlin PSG Zlín
    Fri 1:00 PM Group K O2 World Hamburg Hamburg Freezers Luleå Hockey
    Fri 2:05 PM Group F Saab Arena Linköping HC HC Pardubice
    Fri 2:05 PM Group I Kinnarps Arena HV71 Jönköping Kloten Flyers

    Note: some of those times might actually be off by an hour or two. They're listed on the CHL site in local times, with links to the livestreams.

    Which team are you most excited to see? This post will also serve as your open thread if you're watching along.