That’s it, the wait is basically over… for those like us who are sick of this ugly summer and the lack of ice hockey, it’s time to get serious. On August 29th, the Champions Hockey League starts and, in fact, it’s gonna be the beginning of official games!
And it’s gonna be right on August 29th that the 2019-20 season will start for three Swiss teams. Ambrì-Piotta, Biel-Bienne and Zug. Bern and Lausanne on the other hand, will start officially their season the next day.
Ambrì-Piotta, Biel-Bienne and Lausanne are beginners in this tournament. The Leventinesi will make their debut in Germany against the Red Bull München while the Seeländers will play their first CHL game at the Tissot Arena as they will host Frisk Asker (Norway). Lausanne for their part, will travel to Belarus to face Yunost Minsk. Zug and Bern instead, are at their sixth participation… the Bulls will host Rungsted Seier (Denmanrk) at the Bossard Arena while Bern will play on the road against Skelleftea AIK (Sweden) for Game Day 1.
We just can’t wait!
In the coming days, we’ll present you the opponents of our Swiss teams in details. Today instead, we want to introduce you briefly to the 2019-20 CHL.
The Champions Hockey League is becoming increasingly important. It’s clear that, when it comes to the financial side, the gains are small if you’re not able to go far in the tournament. The CHL in fact, doesn’t make you earn so much money. We mean, you can’t compare the CHL to the Champions League of football… Which, allow us to say, is not necessarily a bad thing considering the way football is going.
We want to focus only on ice hockey though.
The Champions Hockey League is now the tournament of the best European clubs in every way. Starting from the 2017-18 season in fact, you qualify for the CHL only if you earn good results in your own league. That’s a big change compared to the past, when some teams – the founders – had their guaranteed spot.
Let’s see which teams will represent Switzerland this season.
LOVE… AT FIRST SIGHT?
As we said, Ambrì-Piotta, Biel-Bienne and Lausanne will play their first Champions Hockey League ever. Leventinesi, Seeländers and Lions Vaudois will have the chance to face different hockey cultures and that’s something they will benefit from on the short and on the long term.
On paper, Bienne even have all it takes to make it to the next round… Antti Törmänen’s troops in fact, are in the group that includes KAC Klagenfurt (Austria), Tappara Tampere (Finland) and Frisk Asker (Norway).
Same goes for Lausanne, who are in the group that includes Ocelari Trinec (Czech Republic), Lahti Pelicans (Finland) and Yunost Minsk (Belarus).
Ambrì-Piotta’s mission instead, is slightly more complicated… that’s because Luca Cereda’s troops are in the group that includes last season CHL silver medalists Red Bulls Münich (Germany), Färjestad (Sweden) and HC05 Banská Bystrica (Slovakia). At the same time, however, it’s safe to say that the Leventinesi’s group is more “fascinating” compared to the ones of the Seeländers and the Lions Vaudois.
The hope, anyway, is that for all the three teams it will be “love at first sight” with this competition!
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE’S REGULARS…
Bern and Zug on the other hand are Champions Hockey League’s regulars. Both teams are playing this competition for the sixth time narrow.
The Bears, who are Swiss Champions, are in a complicated group that includes Kärpät Oulu (Finland), Skelleftea AIK (Sweden) and Grenoble (France). We mean, it’s not gonna be a walk in the park…
The Bulls instead, will have to face HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland), HC Pilsen (Czech Republic) and Rungsted Capital (Denmark). There are all the chances to make it to the next round… at the same time though, there is no denying that Dan Tangnes’ troops were quite unlucky because – with all due respect – their opponents arent’t very fascinating for the fans.
Anyway, all our clubs must do their best in order to honor our Swiss hockey! And to stop the Scandinavian domination…
Right, because a total of 32 teams will take part in the competition. Including the big favourites for the final win… namely, Swedish and Finnish teams. Starting from the 2014-15 in fact, since when the Champions Hockey League exists, the tournament was won three times by a Swedish team and once by a Finnish one.
The most successful CHL team is Frölunda (Sweden), without a doubt. The Indians won the CHL three times, including the last one only a couple of months ago.
The other teams who were able to win the Champions Hockey League instead were Lulea (Sweden, 2015) and JYP (Finland).
The Swiss best results were earned by Davos and Fribourg Gottéron, who were able to make it once to the semifinals stage. There is nevertheless no doubt that the Scandinavian teams rule this competition.
This, however, doesn’t mean that teams from other countries have no hope. Suffice it to think about Red Bull München – who will face also Ambrì-Piotta – who were able to make it all the way to the final (lost against Frölunda) only a couple of months ago. And suffice it to think about EC Red Bulls Salzburg (Austria) who made it to the semifinals also a couple of months ago.
Then again, why not to dream big? It’s the time to do so, after all.
Enjoy the Champions Hockey League everyone!