ZURICH â€“ The IIHF announced the teams, groups and hosts for next seasonâ€™s European Womenâ€™s Champions Cup. After a three-year hiatus, Sweden is again represented in the competition.
The competition includes 20 champions from European nations and with the comeback from Sweden all top nations will be represented.
After Segeltorps IF hadnâ€™t registered for the last three years due to financial issues, new and first-time Swedish womenâ€™s hockey champion MODO Ă–rnskĂ¶ldsvik accepted the challenge and will also host its first-round group. The other tournaments taking place 19-21 October will be hosted in Austria, Belarus and Italy.
The four tournament winners will advance to the second round where the champions from the top-four nations from last yearâ€™s competition are pre-qualified. These tournaments staged 7-9 December will be hosted by Swiss champion ZSC Lions Zurich and first-time Finnish champion KĂ¤rpĂ¤t Oulu.
The event includes other new entries, among them French champion HC Neuilly sur Marne and Danish champion Hvidovre, but also many well-known participants including defending European womenâ€™s club champion Tornado Moscow Region from Russia.
It will be the ninth season for the EWCC which has been won four times by Swedish team AIK Stockholm, three times by Russian teams (Tornado, SKIF) and once by a team from Finland (Ilves Tampere).
First Round, 19-21 October 2012
Group A: Bolzano Eagles (ITA, host), HC Neuilly sur Marne (FRA), KHL Gric (CRO), Valladolid Panteras (ESP).
Group B: Pantera Minsk (BLR, host), Aisulu Almaty (KAZ), SC Miercurea Ciuc (ROU), Milenyum Ankara (TUR).
Group C: VĂĄlerenga Oslo (NOR), Laima Riga (LAT), Hvidovre (DEN), MODO Ă–rnskĂ¶ldsvik (SWE, host).
Group D: Slavia Prague (CZE), Sabres Vienna (AUT, host), Polonia Bytom (POL), HK Poprad (SVK).
Second Round, 7-9 December 2012
Group E: ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI, host), ESC Planegg (GER), Winner Group A, Winner Group C.
Group F: KĂ¤rpĂ¤t Oulu (FIN, host), Tornado Moscow Region (RUS), Winner Group B, Winner Group D.
Final Tournament, 22-24 February 2013
The top two teams of each second-round group advance to the final tournament. Host to be determined.