Panthers visit Vipers for semi-final opener

Reigning Challenge Cup champions Nottingham Panthers will face-off against Elite League strugglers Newcastle Vipers in Whitley Bay for the first leg in this year's semi-finals next Wednesday.

The second leg will take place in Nottingham on January 30.

The Cardiff Devils – whose 3-3 tie with the Panthers on Wednesday night ensured Sheffield Steelers would not progress from Group B – will travel to Northern Ireland to face the Belfast Giants on Saturday, February 5, before playing the return leg in South Wales on Wednesday, February 16.