|Full name||Genève-Servette Hockey Club|
|Based in||Geneva, Switzerland|
|Arena||Patinoire des Vernets
|Owner(s)||Hugh Quennec, Chris McSorley|
|Head coach||Chris McSorley|
The Genève-Servette HC (also called "Servette" or "GSHC") is a professional ice hockey club based in Geneva, Switzerland and competing in National League A, the top tier of the Swiss hockey league system. The team plays their home games at the Patinoire des Vernets, which has a seating capacity of 7,135, making it one of the smallest in the country.
During the 2013-2014 season, the GSHC was the third most attended team in Switzerland averaging 7,722 spectators.Even though the capacity of their home arena is of 7,135, they were able to draw more crowd thanks to the Winter Classic played at the Stade de Genève in front of a sellout crowd of 29,400.
- 1905 : Foundation of Servette FC's ice hockey section.
- 1954 : The club plays on artificial ice for the first time, in the "Pavillon des Sports". Until then, Servette had to host its opponents in Lausanne or au Pont. The first match on the new artificial ice sees Servette play Urania Genève Sport (UGS).
- 1956 : First promotion in Swiss National League B.
- 1958 : Inauguration of the new ice rink called "Les Vernets".
- 1959 : Servette wins the "Swiss Cup" after beating Neuchâtel-Sports Young Sprinters HC 7-3 in the final, in front of 11,820 fans, it is a crowd record for a hockey game in Les Vernets.
- 1963 : Creation of Genève-Servette HC after the fusion of the ice hockey sections of Servette & UGS.
- 1964 : Genève-Servette is champion of the Swiss National League B (second division), after beating the EHC Biel in the final, and is promoted to the top league in Switzerland, the National League A.
- 1975 : Relegated to the Swiss National League B.
- 1980 : Relegated to 1. Liga (3rd division).
- 1995 : Promoted to National League B again, after a victory over Luzern.
- 2001 : Promoted to National League A, after a successful series (4-0) over Chur in the final.
- 2008 : On March 24, the GSHC reaches the Swiss National League A final for the first time in its history, after a clear win over HC Fribourg-Gottéron in the semi-finals (4-1 in the series).
- 2010 : After a good season (2nd place), the GSHC defeated HC Fribourg-Gottéron in quarter-finals after being led 3-1 and EV Zug in semi-finals. Against SC Bern in Finals, the GSHC came back from 3-1 to 3-3 before losing the seventh game in Bern.
- 2011 : Were third-most attended team in Switzerland for the 2010-11 season with 6,971 spectators.
The Patinoire des Vernets was built in 1959 and is located in the Geneva neighborhood of the same name. It serves as the main arena for the GSHC. It was renovated in 2009 in order to increase the spectator capacity from 6400 to 7140.
On January 24, 2012, local authorities and the club reached an agreement to build a new arena, in another part of town, with a seating capacity of 10,000. It is currently planned to open between 2015 and 2016.
The official mascots of Genève-Servette are Calvin and Calvina, two anthropomorphic eagles that first appeared at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. They are Switzerland’s first and only mascot duet. Their names are derived from John Calvin, famous theologian of the Protestant reformation in Geneva.
In addition, Sherkan, a bald eagle, opens every home game by flying throughout the arena, reaching for his master standing in the center of ice. Sherkan is very popular amongst fans and players alike. Sherkan is Europe’s first living animal to partake in an ice-hockey game opening ceremony.
Sherkan first appeared during the NLB playoffs of 2001 and has been present to every home game ever since, only missing two.
Genève-Servette has been coached since 2001 by Chris McSorley who is also co-owner, alongside Hugh Quennec. Chris McSorley is the brother of Marty McSorley, two times winner of the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers.
Hans Kossmann was the assistant-coach from 2001 to 2008, when he left to be assistant-coach for the Lausanne HC until the end of the season. He then signed a two years contract with the SC Bern. In 2011, Kossmann became head-coach of HC Fribourg-Gotteron.
Louis Matte is currently the assistant-coach and Sebastien Beaulieu is the official goal-keeper coach.
Updated August 11, 2014.
- "Spectateurs qualification". www.nationalleague.ch. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- "Attendance (CH)". www.hockeyarenas.net. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
- "Spengler Cup Final". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- (French) Tribune de Genève | La nouvelle patinoire sera construite au Trèfle-Blanc
- (French) http://www.gshc.ch/Mop/Site/main.php?module=mop.website.calvin&ID=-153]
- (French) http://www.gshc.ch/Mop/Site/main.php?module=mop.website.sherkan&ID=-156]
- "GSHC, Equipe première, LNA" (in French). www.gshc.ch. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
- Official site of Genève-Servette Hockey Club
- (French) Site officiel du Genève-Servette Hockey Club
- (French) Official Fan-club webpage
- (French) Fan-page