Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

HC Lugano

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City  Lugano, Switzerland
Owner(s)  Vicky Mantegazza
Website  Official website
Location  Lugano, Switzerland
Captain  Alessandro Chiesa
Home arena  Pista La Resega
General manager  Roland Habisreutinger
Arena/Stadium  Pista La Resega
Head coach  Greg Ireland
Founded  1941

League  NLA:1999–presentNDA:1970–1972, 1981–1999NDB:1963–1970, 1972–1981

Hc lugano playoff2016

Hockey Club Lugano, often abbreviated to HC Lugano or HCL, is a professional ice hockey club based in Lugano, Switzerland. The team competes in the National League A and has won seven Swiss championships. The team is the ninth most attended team in Switzerland for the 2015-16 season with 5,783 spectators.


Team History

Officially founded on February 11, 1941, the HC Lugano celebrated its 60th year of life in the 2000–01 season.

Since the 1985-86 season, the club has won seven national titles, five play-off finals, reached the final round of the European Cup final twice, reached the Euroleague Top Four Final once, reached the Super Six 2007, a decisive action in the Spengler Cup and two third places in the Continental Cup Superfinal.

The HC Lugano "family" consists of Youth Sections, a Ladies Team, and HC Lugano-Ceresio. Their affiliate EHC Basel Sharks competes in the National League B.


The Hockey Club Lugano was founded in the course of the 1940–41 season but the club's actual setting-up takes place on February 11, 1941, electing as president Alfonso Weber. Seven years after its foundation, the team abandons the small lake of Muzzano and goes to the Loreto quarter. This change is certainly beneficial and is a good opportunity to make the hockey game gradually known in the neighbourhood. In Loreto, the first real games of puck on ice are played: the game of hockey starts getting a footing; however, the civic authorities keep considering Lugano as, basically, a football city. All the efforts of the president Luigi Bellasi come to nothing. In fact, the lack of political support causes the club's eviction from Loreto, too.


In 1955, the Lugano club plays a few games on what functioned as tennis courts in summer, i.e. the tennis courts of the Münger bakery in Paradiso thanks to Cuccio Viglezio and Guido Keller. Still in the course of 1955, Albino Mangili sets up the sport facility in Noranco: in the three years passed there, the Lugano club contends its first official championships and celebrates its first promotion to first division in 1956. The first artificial rink, which will be called "Resega", is inaugurated on December 1, 1957. The most important engagement experienced during the first years of the Resega was the then Pedrolini Cup that gives hospitality to European teams such as the Stockholm club, the Wembley Lions, the Paris club and the Milan Devils. The Resega's inaugural season coincides with the first professional players wearing the black-and-white jersey: Gene Miller, followed by the Chinese-Canadian Larry Kwong.

In the 1963-64 season, the HCL achieved the promotion to National League B, which was conquered on 29 February 1964 in Rapperswil's ice rink. The team celebrated their promotion to National League A in the 1970-71 season. Second only to Canton Valais, Canton Ticino has two clubs in the highest category (HCL and HC Ambrì). The adventure of the Lugano club in National League A lasted two seasons; in the 1972-73 season, it was relegated again to the National League B. In 1975 the black-and-white club moved to Lugano's first covered ice rink in Mezzovico; the club played two championships here, the time necessary to cover the Resega completely.

In 1978-79 season the Lugano club had a ranking in front of the Ambrì club and for the first time, on October 23, 1979, the Valascia (Ambrì club's home arena) was conquered (5-2).


In the 1979-80 season Fabio Gaggini returned to the Lugano club, together with the arrival of Mark Pavelich and John Harrington, who had conquered the gold medal with the American national team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. They remained in Lugano for only a championship.

The Lugano club returned to the National League A at the end of the 1981-82 season. For the adventure in Series A, the Lugano club engages an American defender, Bob Hess, with more than 300 games in the NHL and the greatest promise for Swiss hockey: Jörg Eberle from Canton Appenzell. However, with the sixth final place, the championship of the black-and-whites is not really memorable. At the end of the season, an author of the scaling of the black-and-white team in National League A finally and definitely gives up ice skating: Alfio Molina.

In order to give a turning point to the whole environment, the president Mantegazza gives way to a real technical revolution and calls a new coach from Sweden: John Slettvoll. With him, inflexible in and outside the ice, arrives a player destined to become the Resega's favourite: Kent Johansson. The 1983-84 season is very regular: the team ranks in 4th position. In order to face the 1984-85 season, Slettvoll further strengthens the Lugano club with two essential players: Mats Waltin and Fredy Lüthi. For the whole season, HCL team chases the champions of the Davos club, concluding its best season by conquering the second place. Slettvoll prepares the 1985/1986 recruiting two new players of great promise: Sandro Bertaggia and Andy Ton; there's also Jörg Eberle, who returns from Davos with two national titles. March 1, 1986, the Lugano club is for its first time Swiss champion: captain Kaufmann receives the cup in the Davos' ice rink. In the 1986-87 season, the Lugano club is always at the top of the league and it is launched in Europe. Successful at first in East Berlin, it eliminate what – until then – had been considered the strongest western team absolutely: the Köln club! Never before had a Swiss team been able to reach its aim of playing in the European Cup's final phase. During the championships, the Lugano club confirms itself wonderfully and conquers its second national title in the play-off finals against the Kloten team. In order to replace the various departures, the following in 1987/1988 season arrives in Lugano the Finn Kari Pekka Eloranta. Lugano club confirms itself as the championship's leader and, after its dominance in the regular season, it attains its third title in a row in the play-offs, at the expenses of the Kloten team. During this season the European Cup took place in Lugano in an enthusiastic Resega; the guests of honour are no less than the legendary CSKA Moscow (with the legendary Larionov, Makarov, Krutov and Fetisov) and the teams Färjestad and Košice. However, the Lugano team has no power whatsoever against these sacred monsters of European hockey. The Lugano team of John Slettvoll and Geo Mantegazza conquers the first place in the regular 1988/1989 season but the bears in Berne wake up from their dormancy and the men in the federal capital pinch the Lugano team's title at the Resega. For the first time after the introduction of the play-offs, the Lugano team leaves the national title to an opponent. In order to re-launch the Lugano team in the 1989-90 season, the "wizard" Slettvoll decides to call a small Japanese-Canadian to Lugano for the play-offs, Steve Tsujiura. In the final, the Lugano team takes its revenge for the previous season by winning in four games and conquering the title in the impressive Allmend ice rink, absolutely swarming with black-and-white fans. Once again, the Lugano club enters its name in the Swiss Hockey's roll of honour. A success that basically closes the "Era of the Great Lugano Club" and that of a well-loved president, Geo Mantegazza. The "presidentissimo", in fact, leaves the team in the hands of another of the Resega's favourites: Fabio Gaggini.

The 90s

Gaggini and Slettvoll trust in two Swedish stars for the 1990-91 season: Magnus Svensson and Mats Näslund. The season closes with the second place in regular season and the defeat in the final play-off against the usual Berne team in four games. However, the Lugano team crowns its year with a new participation in the European Cup's final round in Düsseldorf, where it will be on the verge of its exploit with the Finnish champions of the Turku team. Season 1991-92, signs the end of the Slettvoll era. Second place in the regular season and, immediately after the Olympic Games, the bitter elimination by the Zurich club led by Arno del Curto at the play-off quarter-finals. For the first time in the play-offs' history, the Lugano team is not present in the final. However, HCL participates to the Spengler Cup: it wins against the Mannheim team, it beats the Malmö team in extra time, loses by a single goal against Team Canada and beats the legendary CSKA Moscow at the penalty shots!! The following day, during the conclusive action, the Russian masters impose themselves 5 to 2. At the end of the season, John Slettvoll leaves the Lugano club.

The Canadian Andy Murray is engaged as the team's leader for the 1992-93 season and with him, a legendary figure arrives in the Lugano club: Igor Larionov. And to support him there is the Czech Petr Rosol. In December the club is forced to dismiss Murray and to call back Slettvoll. The greatest news of the 1993-94 season, however, is the temporary rink called Reseghina. In fact, the legendary, old Resega is in the course of being demolished, so that a new and modern facility can be built. From 1992 to 1996 Lugano is eliminated in the first phase of play-offs.

The 1995–96 championship starts the inauguration of the Resega's new ice rink on September 25, 1995 (Lugano v Lausanne team). The HCL's defender Pat Schafhauser's sad fate, in the evening of December 5, 1995, will slam violently against the balustrade in the Davos ice rink, thus severely damaging his spinal cord; he will be forced in a wheelchair. After this sad accident, the Lugano club establishes the "Fondazione Pat Schafhauser", with the aim of creating a fund for possible sports accidents. This foundation organises the famous Swiss All Star Game each year.

For the 1996–97 season, Lugano club hires a new coach: Mats Waltin. Another great Swede arrives with him, Michael Nylander, who leaves the Calgary Flames (NHL). The '96-'97 season ends in the play-off semi-final. For the following season there are new arrivals: the Canadian Todd Elik, the Swedish pluri-champion Peter Andersson and the Swiss brothers Geoffrey and Julien Vauclair (drafted by Ottawa Senators). In November Waltin is substituted by Jim Koleff, who had come to Lugano as sports manager. In order to help the defence and Lars Weibel, there's also the first foreign goalkeeper in black-and-white history: Cristobal Huet. The Lugano club beats Davos and Zug in the play-offs and prepares itself to confront the Ambrì club, the protagonist of a record regular season, in a derby final. Thanks to a better freshness and experience, the Lugano team, edition 1998-99, conquers its fifth national title on 5 April 1999 at the Valascia, by beating its cousins in five games.


In the 1999–00 season Lugano club dominates the regular season but the real exploit is attained in the Euroleague, when the black-and-white team finally reaches the semi-final round thanks in particular to Philippe Bozon, Christian Dubé, Oliver Keller, and Wes Walz. Lugano disputes the Top Four Final, the final phase of the European championship: the Russians of the Metallurg Magnitogorsk team, led by Gomoljako, beat the Sparta Prague team in the final. The play-offs begin with the easy victories over the Fribourg and Ambrì teams, but not so with the ZSC Lions (Zurich) team: Lugano team loses the play-offs at the Hallenstadion in "contest 6" when, 10 seconds to the whistle, Plavsic gets the 4 to 3 goal.

The 2000–01 season, the HCL's 60th birthday, faithfully follows the previous season in some things. The great final with the Zurich team is extremely intense, often unfair, polemical and, unfortunately, with an extremely bitter end: on April 7, 2001, "Game 7" at the Resega, Morgan Samuelsson scores the championship winning goal in the extra time. In the 2001-02 season, an ex player of the "Great Russia" arrives as coach of the Lugano club: Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. With him come new players: Petteri Nummelin, Ryan Gardner and Mike Maneluk. Continental Cup elimination leads to the drastic decision of dismissing the coach: Jim Koleff takes his place once again until the end of the season. Cristobal Huet also leaves the Lugano club to join the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL.

In the 2002–03 season, Larry Huras arrives as new coach. At the end of a very balanced regular season, the Lugano club comes in fourth. Ahead of it in the ranking there are the following teams: Davos, ZSC Lions and Berne. Lugano team manages to dominate rhythms and timing, thus attaining the qualification for the final beating both Kloten and Zurich teams. In the final against Davos team, the current champion, in six matches Lugano team brings the black-and-whites' sixth title to the shores of Lake Ceresio.

For the 2003–04 season, in the Swiss black-and-white team, arrives a legendary Finnish hockey player, Ville Peltonen, and the great Sandro Bertaggia (who closes his career after six titles in Lugano) is substituted by Steve Hirschi. In January, the team conquers a new bronze medal in the Continental Cup's Superfinal in Gomel, Belarus. On February 22, 2004, the Resega lives an afternoon of intense emotions. In a mood of great collective participation, Alfio Molina's jersey nr. 1, Sandro Bertaggia's jersey nr. 2 and Pat Schafhauser's jersey nr. 4 are officially collected. The last-named is connected "live" by satellite from Minneapolis. Lugano's season has an apical moment in the play-offs semi-final against the ZSC Lions team disallowing three matchballs on the part of the Zurich team: Lugano team eliminates the Lions and is in the final. But the black-and-white team loses the "best of five" final in the extra-time of the fifth games with a goal by Marc Weber.

The season 2004–05 will be registered into the annals of Swiss Ice Hockey history as one of the most interesting ones and for the HC Lugano as one of the strangest. The reasons are obvious: For once the lockout in the NHL. World stars such as Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Niklas Hagman and Martin St. Louis showed their skills on Swiss ice fields. Owing to the lockout, the HC Lugano committed the Swiss NHL Goalie of the Colorado Avalanche, David Aebischer and in the Resega the NHL stars replace another: Kimmo Timonen, Jason Blake and above all Alex Tanguay. HC Lugano drops out the championship during the quarter finals against the actual Swiss Master SC Bern. At the end of the season JJ Aeschlimann ends is career after 14 successful seasons with the HC Lugano.

The new championship 2005–06 begins: Glen Metropolit's arrival from Jokerit Helsinki allows Lugano to improve its game. Jason York, with more than 700 games in the NHL, reinforces the defence and Lugano is on the top of the league standings. Before Christmas the club announces that Larry Huras will not be the technician of the future. The new leaders, head coach Harold Kreis from partnerteam Chur and co-coach Ivano Zanatta dispatched the responsibilities and asked the players, their brains, hearts and balls (the three "C", from Italian: Cervello, Cuore e Coglioni, così come lo sono...) in order to remount the series against Ambrì-Piotta team in quarter-final. Lugano turns the series from 0-3 to 4-3, in semi-final knocked down Kloten and joins Berne in final. When the 13th of April 2006, the final siren rang at the Resega, the HCL people was at the seventh heaven for seventh title. Afterwards, the NHL knocked at Metropolit's door, and just some time later, at Nummelin's, Peltonen's and York's too: Never did a Swiss club lose four players in the same time, for a more prestigious scene.

On the November 29, 2006, due to the magistrate's investigation on the illegal payments, the restructuration of the board of directors take place: Beat Kaufmann and of Fabio Gaggini resignes from their respective functions and they are substituted by Fausto Gianini and Paolo Rossi. For the new season, the Swedish player Dick Tärnström get hired. On the forward front, the new foreigners who signed with the club are Landon Wilson and the second Swedish man, the playmaker Rickard Wallin. In January 2007, HC Lugano played in the Super Six tournament, in St. Petersburg, Russia with the National champion teams of the six strongest European nations. Lugano defeated Färjestad (3-0), before a loss to Ak Bars Kazan of the same score. Then the team get to the playoff where the quarter finals' adversary was Kloten Flyers of Rintanen, Pittis and Hamr. Lugano defeats the series but with regret of clamorous mistake made by the referee Prugger who whistled while the puck was still in movement invalidating the equalizer.

The approach of the 2007–08 season is positive, the arrival of the experienced Canadian defenseman Yannick Tremblay and Timo Helbling compensate the departures. Forward Canadian playmaker Marty Murray is also recruited. The 18th of October 2007, Jukka Hentunen, HCL top scorer, leaves Lugano after being confronted with the extraordinary occasion of an extremely lucrative contract with the Russian team of the Ak Bars Kazan. As substitute, the managers sign up the NHL star Anson Carter, and Dan LaCouture which starts with three goals in three games but he gradually disappears from the scene. Between November and December, Lugano faces a new crisis forcing Ivano Zanatta out of the team. After a short parentheses with coach Kent Ruhnke, on 9 January John Slettvoll makes a clamorous come back. However, for the first time after twenty-two years, Lugano had to take part in the playout against Basel.

Continuity, at least at the balustrade, was the key word of the season 2008–09 with John Slettvoll renewing his contract, hiring of Ambrì-Piotta team leader Hnat Domenichelli and the Petteri Nummelin's come back. Revelation of the season are the sniper Brady Murray (son of Andy Murray) and the Norwegian player Patrick Thoresen. On January 7, 2009, at a derby's eve, Slettvoll abandoned the team: Hannu Virta, ex coach of TPS Turku is called from Finland to direct the team. In the quarter-finals Lugano defeats in seventh games against Davos.

The season 2009–10 started with a new president. Silvio Laurenti followed Paolo Rossi, after Rossi decided to leave the club for personal reasons. The former player Kent Johansson returned on the bench as head coach. In the market session, Patrick Thoresen left Lugano to play in the KHL for Salavat Yulaev Ufa. In his stead came Jeff Hamilton that confirmed his scorer skills but who showed poor inclination to play with the team. Johansson brought Johan Akerman for the defence who didn't give much impulse. Lugano started with a series of nine consecutive defeats between September and October. Thanks to Hnat Domenichelli, Jeff Hamilton, Randy Robitaille and Boyd Devereaux the team reacted early enough. In January the team lost five consecutive games although they quite recently reached the playoff zone. The management realized that Kent Johansson was not the right person for the Swiss hockey environment. To not risk the playout, the choice was made to change the bench director by giving its confidence to Philippe Bozon. Due to the long Vancouver Olympic Break, Bozon couldn't make the necessary changes and Lugano was easily defeated by Bern during the playoff quarter-finals. The most awaited players of Lugano literally disappeared against Larry Huras' men who won the series in four games only. The worst HCL result in all its playoff history.

The Hockey Club Lugano commemorated the 70th anniversary of its founding. Romano Lemm, Jeff Hamilton and Johan Akerman left the organization. Sébastien Reuille, Sébastien Caron, Mark Popovic, Josh Hennessy, Chris Bourque and Colby Genoway joined the team. From September to November Lugano didn't manage to win two consecutive games and the playoff zone drifted away. November 29, head coach Philippe Bozon and assistant coach Sandro Bertaggia were dismissed. The management replaced them ad intermin, until the end of the regular season, with Mike Mc Namara and Patrick Fischer. For the first time within its history, Lugano is forced to the playout already at Christmas. Three days before the start of the playout, Greg Ireland, who has a significant AHL experience, came as head coach. Lugano managed to win four consecutive games against the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers and conquered the fear of the playout.

On June 33, 2006, HC Lugano presented its reshaped trademark. In the future, two HCL logo versions will be placed side by side: an institutional version and a sportive version. The logo that will represent the HCL in the institutional contexts is similar to the old emblem but without the stars. The most important change concerns the sportive logo and therefore all the game jersey and the merchandising. It represents till now a picture that can be interpreted in different ways. Some saw an owl, some a tiger, others saw the crossing of two sticks, two pucks and the goalkeeper mask. From now on, this image will definitely and unequivocally be seen as a panther, which reveals - according to the press conference - the valours of the Hockey Club Lugano: strength, class, agility, cleverness, speed, aggressiveness, elegance, beauty and grit. The company name, the team name or the official colours of the team never changed since the club has founded.

With the new logo, a new official Mascotte is born: the black panther "Giazzy".


The Resega hockey arena in Lugano is primarily used for ice hockey and is the home arena of HC Lugano, HC Lugano Ladies Team, HC Lugano-Ceresio and HC Porza. It was built in 1995, after the demolition of the previous one, and can hold 8,000 people.

In 2007 the Resega was the first ice rink in Switzerland provided with a platform for disabled persons has been realized. Under the roof of Resega are hung the 7 Swiss Champions banners along with the 2 Swiss Champions banners of the Ladies Team and the three retired jerseys.


  • NLA Championship (7): 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1999, 2003, 2006
  • NDB Championship (1): 1982
  • Runners-up

  • NLA Championship (6): 1985, 1989, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2016
  • Spengler Cup (3): 1991, 2015, 2016
  • Current roster

    Updated November 6, 2015.

    Honored members

  • 1 Alfio Molina –   Switzerland – G, 1963–83, number retired February 22, 2004.
  • 2 Sandro Bertaggia –   Switzerland – D, 1985–2003, number retired February 22, 2004.
  • 4 Pat Schafhauser –   Switzerland – D, paralyzed 1994–95, number retired February 22, 2004.
  • 33 Petteri Nummelin –  Finland – D, 2001–06 and 2008–13, number retired August 31, 2013.
  • 44 Andy Näser –   Switzerland – F, 1997–2010, number retired August 28, 2010.
  • Team records

    HC Lugano records in the Swiss National League A.

    HC Lugano Ladies Team

    The HC Lugano Ladies Team is a semi-professional women’s ice hockey team that competes in the Swiss Women’s A League. The club was officially founded on May 22, 1990. They won the Swiss Championship on 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

    In 2007 the HC Lugano Ladies Team qualified for the final round of the IIHF European Women's Champions Cup and even won the bronze medal 2010.


    HC Lugano Wikipedia