ZURICH – The IIHF European Women’s Champions Cup will go in its fifth season. After Sweden’s AIK Solna has won it four times, the trophy will go to a new team.
16 teams divided in four groups will play the first round of the EWCC in autumn. The group winners will advance and join Aisulu Almaty (Kazakhstan), the Espoo Blues (Finland), Segeltorps IF (Sweden) and DHC Langenthal (Switzerland), which are set for the second stage in the beginning of December.
The final tournament will be played from January 30 to February 1. The organizer is to be announced and no team is pre-qualified for the final tournament.
After having been Europe’s best women’s club team for four years, AIK Solna didn’t qualify for the 2008-2009 European Women’s Champions Cup. AIK lost the Swedish final to another club from the Stockholm region, Segeltorps IK, 5-2.
First round, October 31 to November 2, 2008:
Group A: Slavia Prague (CZE, host), Terme Maribor (SLO), FTC Budapest (HUN), Polis Akademisi Kulubu (TUR).
Group B: ESC Planegg-Wurmtal (GER), Agordo Hockey (ITA, host), Sabres/Flyers United Vienna (AUT), KHL Gric (CRO).
Group C: Laima Riga (LAT, host), Valerenga Oslo (NOR), Herlev Hornets (DEN), Slough Phantoms (GBR).
Group D: Skif Moscow Region (RUS, host), Slovan Bratislava (SVK), SC Miercurea Ciuc (ROM), Slavia Sofia (BUL).
Second round, December 5 to 7, 2008:
Group E: Aisulu Almaty (KAZ), Espoo Blues (FIN), Winner Group A, Winner Group C. Host TBA.
Group F: Segeltorps IF (SWE, host), DHC Langenthal (SUI), Winner Group B, Winner Group D.