KHL Medveščak Zagreb

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Medveščak Zagreb
2013–14 KHL Medveščak season
Club crest
Full name Klub Hokeja Na Ledu Medveščak Zagreb
Nickname(s) Medvedi (The Bears)
Founded 1961
Based in Zagreb, Croatia
Arena Dom Sportova
(capacity: 6,500)
Arena Zagreb
(capacity: 15,024)
League

Kontinental Hockey League
(2013–present)
Croatian Ice Hockey League
(1991–present)

Team colors          
Head coach Canada Mark French
Website Official website

KHL Medveščak Zagreb (cro. Ice Hockey Club Medveščak Zagreb) is a Croatian ice hockey team. It is the most successful and popular ice hockey team in Croatia. The team plays in the Bobrov Division in the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. The team's namesake is derived from the location of its original arena in Gornji Grad – Medveščak.

History[edit]

The team was established in 1961, from the team SD Zagreb. In its first ten seasons in the Yugoslav Hockey League, Medveščak solidified as the second most popular team in Zagreb to football team Dinamo, playing their games in an outdoor rink in the upper-class neighbourhood of Šalata, with a draw of around 5,000 spectators a game. In 1971 the team moved into an indoor rink in Zagreb called the Dom Sportova, with the capacity to hold up to 6,400 fans. Over the first two decades of their existence Medveščak middled in success however never won the Yugoslav championship and by the early 1980s was mired in a financial crisis to almost suffer relegation from the top league in 1985.[1]

The team in Dom Sportova 2009

The following season in 1986 the club was sponsored by the Gortan Building company, owned by Zdenko Gradecki, to become the de facto owners. With much needed investment, Gradecki transformed the club and recruited heavily, leading with Russian Hall of Famer, Vyacheslav Anisin. By the late 1980s the team became the best in the Yugoslav Ice Hockey League, winning three consecutive championships from 1989, culminating with an appearance in the 1991 IIHF European Cup in which they progressed to the second round.

With the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991, Gortan Building company along with a host of sponsors plunged into financial crisis and pulled out of their backing of the team. Without funding, the club lost its best players and professional status left to compete as an amateur outfit in the Croatian Ice Hockey League.[2] However, from the late 1990s to late 2000s the team would dominate the league, winning almost every championship. Medveščak strengthened its position in the 2000s in establishing a farm team, KHL Medveščak II. In search of more competitive play in the team also participated in the Slovenian Hockey League from 2007, finishing in second place in their inaugural season. The following season, Medvescak was by far the best team in the Slovenian league (without the best two Slovenian teams which joined Erste Bank Eishockey Liga a year earlier) during the regular season, losing only one game in regulation.

Starting in the 2009–10 season, Medveščak once again moved up in competitive level, joining the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. In marking their moves up the professional ranks the Bears recruited North American coach, Ted Sator from fellow EBEL team Alba Volán Székesfehérvár.[3] With a commitment to continue to participate in the Croatian Ice Hockey League playoffs, Medveščak made their Austrian debut in front of a sellout crowd at the Dom Sportova in a 6-5 victory against Slovenian member HK Acroni Jesenice on 11 September 2009.[1] The Bears drew over 200,000 spectators throughout the season home games and were rewarded as the last team to qualify for a position in the Playoffs. In their inaugural season, they stunned top seeded Graz 99ers in the Quarterfinals in win in 6 games, before suffering elimination to eventual champions EC Red Bull Salzburg in the semi-finals.

Medveščak game in Arena Zagreb

On 14 and 16 September 2012, Medveščak hosted its first two home games of the 2012–13 EBEL season at the Pula Arena. The first game in a 3-2 loss to HDD Olimpija Ljubljana and the second game against the Vienna Capitals which resulted in a 4-1 win. After the second game, KHL President Alexander Medvedev said that the club might join the KHL next season along with Hockey Milano Rossoblu from Italy.[4]

On 29 April 2013, the club board has announced that Medveščak will join KHL in season 2013-14.

On 6 September 2013, The Bears opened their premiere season in the KHL with a 7:1 victory against CSKA Moscow. [5]

UNICEF Partnership[edit]

Dom Sportova, KHL Medveščak Zagreb - KAC Klagenfurt, 15 January 2010

On 24 August 2010, KHL Medveščak formed an official partnership with UNICEF, becoming the first and only European hockey team to cooperate with UNICEF, joining prestigious sporting clubs FC Barcelona, Manchester United F.C. and Boca Juniors from Argentina. The Bears were selected after success in its inaugural season in the EBEL, hosting more than 200,000 spectators watching live matches without a single incident, and its support for the campaign organised for emergency relief in Haiti. Under the co-operation between Medveščak and UNICEF, the Bears will actively work on the campaign to Stop Violence Among Children and will wear a UNICEF sleeve logo and change the club's blue logo color to that of UNICEF's cyan at joint events.[6]

Sponsors[edit]

Medvescak sponsors include companies such as: Podravka, Citroen, Generali, Lidl, Carlsberg Croatia and others.

Honours[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Last update: March 03, 2014.[7] [8]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
31 Canada Dekanich, MarkMark Dekanich G L 28 2013 North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
33 Canada Brust, BarryBarry Brust G L 30 2013 Swan River, Manitoba, Canada
35 United States Westlund, AlexAlex Westlund G R 38 2014 Flemington, New Jersey, USA
2 Canada O'Connor, RyanRyan O'Connor D R 22 2014 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
3 United States Klubertanz, KyleKyle Klubertanz D R 28 2013 Madison, Wisconsin, USA
6 Canada Popovic, MarkMark Popovic D L 31 2013 Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
12 Slovakia Švarný, IvanIvan Švarný D L 29 2013 Nitra, Slovakia
23 Croatia Martinović, SašaSaša Martinović D L 29 2011 Füssen, West Germany
28 Croatia Letang, AlanAlan Letang (C) D L 38 2009 Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
44 Croatia Waugh, GeoffGeoff Waugh D R 30 2011 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
55 Canada Foster, KurtisKurtis Foster D R 32 2013 Carp, Ontario, Canada
72 Canada Carle, MathieuMathieu Carle Injured Reserve D R 26 2013 Buckingham, Quebec, Canada
89 Canada Katic, MarkMark Katic D L 25 2013 Porcupine, Ontario, Canada
7 Canada Linglet, CharlesCharles Linglet LW L 32 2013 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
8 Croatia Šakić, MarkoMarko Šakić C L 20 2013 Zagreb, Croatia
9 United States Thomas, BillBill Thomas C R 31 2013 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
10 Sweden Nyström, ErikErik Nyström LW L 20 2013 Stockholm, Sweden
14 United States Walker, LukeLuke Walker RW R 24 2013 New Haven, Connecticut, USA
16 Canada Glumac, MikeMike Glumac RW R 34 2013 Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
17 Canada Murray, AndrewAndrew Murray (A) LW L 32 2013 Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada
18 Canada Cheechoo, JonathanJonathan Cheechoo (A) RW R 33 2013 Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada
19 United States Vesce, RyanRyan Vesce C R 32 2013 Lloyd Harbor, New York, USA
21 United States Ryan, MichaelMichael Ryan C L 34 2013 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
22 United States Murley, MattMatt Murley LW R 34 2013 Troy, New York, USA
25 Canada Kane, BoydBoyd Kane LW L 36 2013 Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada
27 United States Jessiman, HughHugh Jessiman RW R 30 2013 New York City, New York, USA
46 Canada Iggulden, MikeMike Iggulden C R 31 2014 St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
62 Denmark Bjorkstrand, PatrickPatrick Bjorkstrand C L 22 2013 Herning, Denmark
74 Croatia Perkovich, NathanNathan Perkovich RW R 28 2012 Canton, Michigan, USA
83 Canada Ellison, MattMatt Ellison RW R 30 2013 Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
88 Croatia Kostović, DarioDario Kostović LW R 33 2011 Split, Croatia


Coaching staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]