Champions Hockey League groups drawn

European club champion Metallurg faces Karpat and Eisbaren.


IIHF President René Fasel drew HV71 Jonkoping to the group with the Espoo Blues and the qualifier. Photo: Martin Merk

ZURICH – The groups for the inaugural 2008-2009 Champions Hockey League have been drawn at the IIHF headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Reigning European club champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk from Russia will face Karpat Oulu and Eisbaren Berlin.

“For us, this is the start of a new era in European ice hockey,” IIHF President René Fasel said. 11 teams and the qualifier were drawn into four groups consisting of three teams each.

Group A: Karpat Oulu (Finland), Eisbaren Berlin (Germany), Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia).

Group B: HV71 Jonkoping (Sweden), Espoo Blues (Finland), Qualifier (TBD).

Group C: Salavat Yulayev Ufa (Russia), Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia), Mountfield Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic).

Group D: Slavia Prague (Czech Republic), ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland), Linkopings HC (Sweden).

The 12th team will be determined by a qualifier tournament with HC Kosice (Slovakia), SC Bern (Switzerland) and the Sinupret Ice Tigers Nuremberg (Germany), September 12-14. The venue is to be determined.

“Metallurg Magnitogorsk is maybe one of the best teams in the world and we wanted to play them in the 2008 European Champions Cup final, which we unfortunately missed,” Juha Junno of Karpat Oulu said after the draw. “Now we have the chance to play them in the Champions Hockey League. It will be a strong group.”

“I was also involved in the European Hockey League ten years ago and it will be again a good opportunity for the players to play the Champions Hockey League,” Sean Simpson, the new head coach of the ZSC Lions, said.

Schedule of the group stage: <table width="390"> <tbody><tr class="even"><td>Group A</td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Date</td><td>Home</td><td>Away</td></tr> <tr><td>October 8, 2008</td><td>Eisbaren Berlin</td><td>Karpat Oulu</td></tr> <tr><td>October 22, 2008</td><td>Karpat Oulu</td><td>Metallurg Mag.</td></tr> <tr><td>October 29, 2008</td><td>Metallurg Mag.</td><td>Eisbaren Berlin</td></tr> <tr><td>November 12, 2008</td><td>Karpat Oulu</td><td>Eisbaren Berlin</td></tr> <tr><td>November 19, 2008</td><td>Metallurg Mag.</td><td>Karpat Oulu</td></tr> <tr><td>December 3, 2008</td><td>Eisbaren Berlin</td><td>Metallurg Mag.</td></tr> <tr><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Group B</td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Date</td><td>Home</td><td>Away</td></tr> <tr><td>October 8, 2008</td><td>HV71 Jonkoping</td><td>Qualifier</td></tr> <tr><td>October 22, 2008</td><td>Qualifier</td><td>Espoo Blues</td></tr> <tr><td>October 29, 2008</td><td>Espoo Blues</td><td>HV71 Jonkoping</td></tr> <tr><td>November 12, 2008</td><td>Qualifier</td><td>HV71 Jonkoping</td></tr> <tr><td>November 19, 2008</td><td>Espoo Blues</td><td>Qualifier</td></tr> <tr><td>December 3, 2008</td><td>HV71 Jonkoping</td><td>Espoo Blues</td></tr> <tr><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Group C</td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Date</td><td>Home</td><td>Away</td></tr> <tr><td>October 8, 2008</td><td>Salavat Yulayev Ufa</td><td>Ceske Budejovice</td></tr> <tr><td>October 22, 2008</td><td>Ceske Budejovice</td><td>Slovan Bratislava</td></tr> <tr><td>October 29, 2008</td><td>Slovan Bratislava</td><td>Salavat Yulayev Ufa</td></tr> <tr><td>November 12, 2008</td><td>Ceske Budejovice</td><td>Salavat Yulayev Ufa</td></tr> <tr><td>November 19, 2008</td><td>Slovan Bratislava</td><td>Ceske Budejovice</td></tr> <tr><td>December 3, 2008</td><td>Salavat Yulayev Ufa</td><td>Slovan Bratislava</td></tr> <tr><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Group D</td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Date</td><td>Home</td><td>Away</td></tr> <tr><td>October 8, 2008</td><td>Slavia Prague</td><td>Linkopings HC</td></tr> <tr><td>October 22, 2008</td><td>Linkopings HC</td><td>ZSC Lions Zurich</td></tr> <tr><td>October 29, 2008</td><td>ZSC Lions Zurich</td><td>Slavia Prague</td></tr> <tr><td>November 12, 2008</td><td>Linkopings HC</td><td>Slavia Prague</td></tr> <tr><td>November 19, 2008</td><td>ZSC Lions Zurich</td><td>Linkopings HC</td></tr> <tr><td>December 3, 2008</td><td>Slavia Prague</td><td>ZSC Lions Zurich</td></tr> </tbody></table>
Semi-final draw: Winner Group D vs. Winner Group B, Winner Group A vs. Winner Group C. Note: Any two clubs from the same country will be paired together for the semi-finals. Home ice advantage of the second game goes to the team with the better records in the group stage. The semi-final games will be played on December 10, 2008, and Januar 7, 2009.

The final games will be played on Januar 21 and 28, 2009. Home ice advantage of the second game goes to the team with the better records in the group stage.



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