The Elite Ice Hockey League Board have confirmed there will be an 11-team league structure for the upcoming season.

Following a league meeting, the board approved this format with each team facing each other six times in the regular season, playing each other three times at home and three times away.

This comes following the exit of Edinburgh Capitals last month and EIHL chairman Tony Smith says it’s not a day he has enjoyed.

“Having to meet to decide the way forward was not one we particularly relished after the circumstances involving Edinburgh,” he said.

“While we are sad to lose them, it means we have to move on and it’s by no means been an easy day for us in plotting the next step.

“As a league, we examined the options available to us at great depth and the most logical one to take was to go with 11 teams for the 2018/19 season.

“On behalf of the Elite League, I want to take this opportunity to thank Edinburgh Capitals for their contribution during their 13 years competing in this league and wish Scott Neil and everyone connected all the best for the future.

“It’s the next exciting step in our league and I’m looking forward to getting ready for the new campaign.”

The structure replaces the former league model that saw clubs play the teams in their own conference more times than the teams in the other Conferences.

The three Conferences will still remain, but all league games against Conference opponents will count towards the Conference Championship.

The Gardiner Conference will now only have three teams instead of four, following Edinburgh’s departure, but each team will get 30 home games compared to 28 last year.

The structure for the Challenge Cup will be confirmed in due course and will be announced following the EIHL fixtures meeting in late June.

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