It’s time for the first puck drop of the 2019-20 National League season. Today we want to talk about Game Day 1 that is scheduled for September 13th, when all the 12 teams will play their first game!
And we want to talk about it in terms of trivia… we wanted to know in fact, when in the past the same teams faced each other on the seasonal opener. And then, how the season went for the teams.
GAME DAY 1 – September 13th, 2019
HC AMBRÌ-PIOTTA vs EV ZUG
Ambrì-Piotta and Zug will face each other on the seasonal opener for the second consecutive year. Last year’s game, that was also scheduled at the Valascia, saw the Bulls earn a 2-1 away win. Lino Martschini gave the lead to Dan Tangnes’ troops, Dominik Kubalik equalized for the Leventinesi but finally, during the third period, Reto Suri earned the 3 points for Zug.
How did the season go for the two teams? Well, we all know…
Ambrì-Piotta had a great season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Luca Cereda’s troops were then eliminated by Bienne at the quarterfinals stage.
As we all remember, Zug made it all the way to the final and then lost against Bern. The Bulls had a fantastic season and were arguably the team who played the best hockey for long stretches.
SC BERN vs SC RAPPERSWIL-JONA LAKERS
The last time Bern and Rapperswil faced each other on the seasonal opener went back to the 2011-12 season. It was in September 9th, 2011, when the Bears back then coached by Larry Huras earned a 3-1 win at the Diners Club Arena. Michel Riesen gave the lead to the hosts… but then, Thomas Deruns, Pascal Berger and Caryl Neuenschwander earned the win for the visitors.
How did the season go for the two teams?
SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
Rapperswil finished the 2011-12 Regular Season at the bottom of the table… but then secured their NLA place thanks to the win against Genève Servette in the best-of-seven playout semifinal.
Bern on the other hand finished the Regular Season 5th placed… and during the season, Antti Törmänen replaced Larry Huras. During the playoffs then, the Bears made it all the way to the final thanks to the win against Kloten and Fribourg Gottéron… but finally, the ZSC Lions were crowned Swiss Champions.
EHC BIEL-BIENNE vs HC FRIBOURG GOTTÉRON
The last time Bienne and Fribourg Gottéron faced each other on the seasonal opener went back to the 2012-13 season. It was in September 14th, 2012, when the Dragons earned a 4-1 home win at the BCF Arena. The Seeländers took the lead with Gianni Ehrensperger… but then the hosts won the game thanks to the goals scored by Adam Hasani, Andrey Bykov, Tristan Vauclair and Michael Knoepfli.
How did the season go for the two teams?
HC Fribourg Gottéron
Fribourg Gottéron finished the Regular Season at the top of the table… and then made it all the way to the final where they lost against Bern. It’s safe to say, however, that it’s good omen for Gottéron to start their Regular Season against Bienne.
Also the Seeländers had a decent season all in all… they finished the Regular Season 8th placed and therefore made it to the playoffs. To note that the Seeländers’ season came to an end at the quarterfinals stage, as they lost right against Fribourg Gottéron after 7 amazing games.
HC LUGANO s LAUSANNE HC
It’s been a longtime since Lugano and Lausanne faced each other on the seasonal opener… more precisely, the last time went back to September 25th, 1995. On that day, it was the inauguration of the new Resega and the Bianconeri earned a 5-4 win.
How did the season go for the two teams back then? Not very well…
Lugano finished the Regular Season 7th placed… and their ride came to an end at the quarterfinals stage where they lost 3-1 in the best-of-five series against Kloten.
It went even worse for Lausanne… the Lions Vaudois finished the Regular Season at the bottom of the table and were then relegated. La Chaux-de-Fonds took their place as they were promoted to the NLA.
SCL TIGERS vs GENÈVE SERVETTE HC
It’s gonna be the first time in history that Langnau and Genève Servette face each other on the seasonal opener…
ZSC LIONS vs HC DAVOS
For the last time, ZSC Lions and Davos faced each other on the seasonal opener back during the 2009-10 season. It was in September 11th, 2009, when Davos earned a 5-3 away win in Zürich thanks to the goals scored by Daniel Widing (hat-trick!), Josef Marha and Petr Taticek. For the hosts, Domenico Pittis, Ryan Gardner and Mark Bastl scored the three goals.
How did the two teams’ season go back then?
The Lions finished the Regular Season 6th placed and lost at the quarterfinals stage against Zug.
Davos on the other hand finished the Regular Season 4th placed… but also the Ibexes’ season came to an end at the quarterfinals stage, as they lost against Kloten.
Well, these were only few trivia ahead of the first game day… are you ready for this darn puck drop that seems never to arrive?!