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1967 to present

The first ice hockey club in Zug

The history of EVZ begins in Baar and initially bears a different name: Baarer Schlittschuhclub. This was the name of the club founded in December 1953 under the patronage of the Traffic and Beautification Association Baar. Pioneers such as Hans Schumpf, Hans-Peter Gasser, Peter Bieler, or Richard Baltensberger established the first ice hockey club in Zug, which participated in the championship for the first time in the winter of 1954/55 in the 3rd league. The games were played only in low temperatures on the Lättich-Weiher. The Baar Brewery had created the pond to obtain ice for beer cooling. For several weeks, the ice surface was available for the sporting activities of the Baarer SC. 200 to 300 fans regularly flocked to the frozen pond.

From Baarer SC to EVZ
In 1967, the Baarer Schlittschuhclub qualified for the second league. However, another topic took center stage: the move to Zug and a name change. Since the construction of the Kunsteisbahn Zug AG in the Hertiquartier district of Zug had been repeatedly delayed, the Baarer originally intended to realize their own project at the 'Höll' site near the Spinnerei. When the KEB Zug was finally realized, they were fully supportive. Only the name sparked discussions. The name Baarer SC was no longer suitable, everyone agreed. ZSC (an abbreviation for Zuger Schlittschuhclub) was already taken. When there was an attempt to change it to SCZ, the footballers from Sportclub Zug objected to the potential confusion. The compromise was a new name, whose abbreviation has become a trademark in Swiss ice hockey: Eissportverein Zug. Or simply and memorably: EVZ!

Founding Assembly 1967
May 5, 1967, is the official founding date of EVZ. On this day, the founding assembly took place at the former Hotel Lindenhof in Baar. On November 25, 1967, the new artificial ice rink in Zug was inaugurated. The spark of 'ice hockey' ignited in the Zug audience right from its inception: Over 5000 spectators attended the opening tournament and celebrated the victories of the second-league team against Arosa and Bern.

In the first season in the 2nd league

The EVZ started its first season in the club's history in November 1967 with two active teams (2nd league and 3rd league), as well as a junior and a youth team. Until the end of October, training took place for about four hours per week, and during the winter, three ice training sessions per week were scheduled. The first championship game in St. Gallen ended with a 4:7 loss for EVZ. The home premiere on December 2, 1967, against EHC Bassersdorf was won 9:6 in front of 1000 spectators. In the end, the team led by player-coach Jürg Bosshard secured a respectable 3rd place. Over 1000 fans regularly attended home games, and more and more young athletes joined EVZ.

Promotion to the 1st League
In the 1968/69 season, EVZ achieved its first transfer coup: Defenseman Walter Wipf, who had become Swiss champion with Kloten a year earlier, was signed as a player-coach. Together with other former Kloten players (Ruedi Bücheler, Jacques Bräm) and well-known Zug personalities like René Bachmann and Oski Huber, Wipf led Zug straight into the 1st league.
As a newcomer, EVZ also excelled in the 1st league and ended the 1969/70 championship as group winners. However, in the promotion games against Uzwil and Olten, they missed the promotion to the National League B, which was not necessarily the goal: In an internal survey, three-quarters of the team had voted against promotion. The time was not yet right for it. Almost logically, Walter Wipf's third and final season (1970/71) was another building year: With a 3rd place, EVZ clearly missed the promotion games.

The hunger for success returns

With the Canadian star coach Derek Holmes, ambition returned to EVZ. Now, promotion to the National League B was the official goal. However, at the end of the 1971/72 season, Zug failed as the group runner-up, just like a year later as the dominant group winner. Despite star acquisitions Reto Stuppan (player-coach), Gérald Rigolet, and Paul Probst – all current national players – they lost the promotion duel against Arosa. The open-air artificial ice rink burst at the seams in the decisive last home game (4:4) with 7200 fans.

Finally, National League B!
For the 1973/74 season, EVZ strengthened with a fourth national player (Heinz Jenni) and other NLA veterans. Promotion had become a must and should become a reality on the second attempt. After an uncontested 1st place in the regular season, Zug managed to prevail in the promotion games against Chur and Uzwil this time. On March 9, 1974, 6795 spectators celebrated promotion to the National League B.

First time in the National League A
Reto Stuppan continued to drive his team upward in the 1974/75 season, and the Zug promotion express was unstoppable even in the second-highest league: EVZ finished first in the East group and second in the promotion round. Without the injury to the national goalkeeper Rigolet in the promotion round, promotion to the NLA would probably have been a reality even then.

In the 1975/76 season, they made up for what was missed: With a 7:6 victory in the Zurich Hallenstadion in March 1976 – not even 10 years after its founding – EVZ made the leap into the highest league. The protagonists in the club's most dramatic game were the Finnish superstar Jorma Peltonen and the longtime top scorer, Heinz Jenni. Peltonen scored the 6:6 two minutes before the end, and Jenni scored the 7:6 22 seconds before the end. And all of this after a 3:5 deficit!

Dream and nightmare

Relegation to the National League B
After the promotion to the NLA, the Herti Stadium was roofed and the official seating capacity was expanded from 6,500 to 8,350. Due to the success of the first team, EVZ now had a broad youth department and entered the 1976/77 season with ten teams. With national goalkeeper Andy Jorns, defenseman Fritz Bhend, and forwards Ueli Lüthi, Herbert Messer, and Noldi Lörtscher, EVZ strengthened its squad and was already considered a contender for a top position. No one thought about a possible relegation. However, luck was not on Zug's side. The appointment of superstar Jorma Peltonen as player-coach turned out to be a wrong decision, and the overwhelmed Finn handed over the coaching duties to Dany Smit during the season. Despite this, immediate relegation could not be avoided. After 13 unfortunate losses by one or two goals, EVZ had to return to the NLB at the end of the season. A nightmare for the team and the average of 6,940 spectators (still a record today) in the Herti Stadium!

Missed Promotion
Under the motto "Promotion by all means," EVZ started the 1977/78 season - and almost succeeded! In the end, they were only one random point behind promoted Lausanne. Coach Dany Smit was replaced again by Reto Stuppan at the end of the season, who, like the longtime role model Oski Huber, bid farewell. In the last home game, the club management asked the audience via ballot whether to strive for promotion by all means or plan a building program. The audience chose the building program. However, instead of taking a step forward, the club experienced a descent into mediocrity. The 1978/79 season, under the Canadian tough guy Stu Robertson, ended as the runner-up, but was far behind the promoted Davos.

Relegation to the First League
The following years were marked by constant coaching changes and misguided foreign player acquisitions. In the 1980/81 season, EVZ entered the NLB relegation round for the first time and faced financial ruin. President Walter Beerli threw in the towel at an extraordinary general meeting, and Professor Georg Keiser was elected as his successor. The renowned chief physician of the Zug Cantonal Hospital managed to avert financial collapse but not the sporting decline. In the 1981/82 season, under coaches Cliff Stewart and Bruce Rolin, EVZ finished last in both the qualification and the relegation round, temporarily saying goodbye to the National League stage on February 27, 1982.

return to business

Re-promotion to the National League B
The descent to the first league was somewhat like a cleansing storm. Under the new Czech coach Frantisek Dum, Zug managed an undefeated immediate re-promotion to the National League B in the 1982/83 season. In the crucial promotion matches, they defeated Ascona with a total score of 14:3 and Uzwil with 9:4. In addition to veterans like Heinz Jenni, Walter Wettenschwiler, or Peter Gaw, homegrown talents such as Sandro Bertaggia, Peter Stadler, Patrick Hager, or Philipp Neuenschwander made significant contributions to the success.

Transfer Bomb after Promotion
After their return to the National League B, Zug ignited a veritable transfer bomb: Thanks to the connections of the "Czech Connection" at EVZ, the 256-time Czechoslovakian national player Ivan Hlinka came from the NHL club Vancouver to central Switzerland. Hlinka, a legend in his home country and a world champion in 1972, 76, and 77, entered the Hertistadion with the number 14 in September 1983. He scored 45 goals in his first and 30 in his second and final season with Zug, where he, together with the American Steven Jensen, safely led EVZ into the final round and almost brought them back to the expanded NLA with 10 teams. In March 1985, Ivan Hlinka and coach Frantisek Dum returned to their home club Litvinov.

Almost Relegation and Coaching Swap
For the 1985/86 season, Zug hired the Swedish coach Dan Hobér, who had recently won three consecutive championships with AIK Stockholm and HC Davos. The goal was to continue climbing, but the seasoned expert behind the bench turned out to be a misfit. After 25 rounds, the team was only one point ahead of the relegation spot when EVZ President Georg Keiser and ZSC Head of Team Coordination Guido Tognoni orchestrated a legendary coaching swap. Dan Hobér moved to the struggling ZSC in the National League A, where he couldn't prevent their descent. From ZSC came the Canadian Andy Murray to the struggling EVZ, who secured their top-tier status only in the last game of the season.

return to the top

Return to the National League A
After narrowly avoiding relegation, the goal for the 1986/87 NLB season was to secure promotion without the nail-biting tension of the previous year. This time, everything fell into place. Under the guidance of coach Andy Murray, a new era of Canadian influence began for EVZ. Red Laurence, who arrived from Ambri, became a prolific scorer, clinching the top scorer title five consecutive times in Zug. His remarkable achievement of 62 goals in the first season remains unmatched to this day. Murray also brought in Canadian-Swiss players John Fritsche, Colin, and Blair Müller, forming a forward line that would continue to strike fear into opponents for years to come. The team comfortably qualified for the playoffs, where they caused a major upset by defeating the overwhelming favorite, ZSC, in a decisive match with a 6:2 victory on March 14, 1987, in front of 8052 fans at the packed Hertistadion. This marked Zug's second entry into the top-tier league.

Established in the Premier League…
In contrast to the first promotion in 1977, EVZ managed to establish itself in the top league on the second attempt. Goaltender Rolf Simmen and Swedish legend Mats Waltin secured the defense, while the star-studded forward line continued to score goals as they had in the lower league. Andy Murray had assembled a physically strong team around key players, achieving the best result for a promoted team in 12 years with a 6th-place finish.

With the return of Philipp Neuenschwander and Canadian-Swiss player Mike Kaszicky in the 1988/89 season, Zug improved to the 5th place, despite facing a setback in the preseason: Successful coach Andy Murray answered the call of the NHL and joined the Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach. Billy Flynn, the US Sunnyboy, took over as his successor in Zug but lost the trust of the team by the end of the season.

…but no longer mediocre
In the next two seasons, Zug remained a middle-of-the-road team. It also marked the beginning of Fredy Egli's 10-year presidency, during which he had to accept a challenging start to his tenure and two premature coaching dismissals. Sport manager Roland von Mentlen took turns appointing Swedish coach Per Bäckman and Canadian Kent Ruhnke, and the team managed to narrowly qualify for the playoffs. However, during this period, reaching only the quarterfinals was the extent of their achievements.

In 1990, two players joined the team who would make a significant impact in the coming years: Ken Yaremchuk, succeeding Red Laurence as the top scorer, and Canadian-Swiss player Misko Antisin.

the Road to the Championship title

For the first time in the playoff semi-final
It was under the guidance of the young coach Björn Kinding that EVZ developed into a top club in the years 1991-1994. After two fifth-place finishes and one fourth place in the regular season, the Swede led the Zug team to the playoff semi-final in his farewell season. The Hertistadion erupted when Dino Kessler beat SCB goaltending legend Renato Tosio in overtime during the seventh quarterfinal. In the semi-final, the team had no chance against Fribourg with the outstanding Russians Bykov and Chomutov (1:3). However, they were still bid farewell with a standing ovation. Among the on-ice leaders were Ken Yaremchuk, Misko Antisin, Philipp Neuenschwander, Colin Muller, and the American Tom Fergus, who unfortunately had to end his career a year later due to health reasons. As an assistant to Björn Kinding, a certain Sean Simpson stood behind the bench from the 1992/93 season.

Koleff Drama and First Time in the Final
Canadian Jim Koleff, previously an assistant coach at SC Bern, took over from Kinding. His preached "aggressive power hockey" quickly showed its effects: With 18 points from 13 games, the team was in second place at the beginning of November when the sporting success suddenly took a back seat. Koleff's old cancer had recurred, and the players had tears in their eyes as the coach departed for intensive treatment in New York. "Fight for Jim" became the motto, and the team followed it! With Sean Simpson as the interim coach, EVZ won the regular season for the first time. In the decisive playoff quarterfinal against ZSC on March 9, a 8:3 victory was not about qualifying for the semi-final but about Jim Koleff's return. Marked by illness, Jim celebrated a reunion before 7,600 standing spectators and amidst burning sparklers, a reunion that touched not only the person concerned. Gentleman Simpson stepped back into the second row, and Jim Koleff almost concluded the season of high emotions with the greatest sporting triumph. Led by the foreign duo Fergus-Yaremchuk, EVZ fought its way with 3:0 victories against Fribourg for the first time into the playoff final. However, they couldn't capitalize on a 3:0 lead in the fourth final game. Behind the then serial champion Kloten, EVZ rightfully became vice champion! The Zug team strengthened further with top players like André Rötheli, Patrick Sutter, and Bill McDougall but had to wait two more years for the first title. In 1995/96 in the semi-final and a year later in the second final participation, they fell to SC Bern. Jim Koleff said goodbye to Lugano, and assistant Sean Simpson logically became his successor as head coach.

Finally, Swiss Champion!
For the third time after 1995 and 1997, EVZ reached the playoff final in 1998. After finishing first in the regular season, they overcame the first playoff hurdles with the necessary luck. Rapperswil-Jona and Ambri could only be defeated in the seventh game after various setbacks. Now, EVZ led 3:2 wins against Davos and traveled to Graubünden for the third time on Saturday, April 11, 1998. Goalkeeper Ronnie Rüeger, who had replaced Patrick Schöpf as number 1, the defensively strong lineup with Dino Kessler, Patrick Sutter, André Künzi, and forwards Bill McDougall, Wes Walz, and Misko Antisin were in top form. The tension in the sold-out Eisstadion with 7,680 spectators was palpable. However, the team of Sean Simpson played confidently and secured the first championship title in the club's history with a 5:2 victory. At 10:18 p.m., Captain André Rötheli received the championship trophy from National League Managing Director Kurt Locher. After the big triumph in Davos, a long night of celebration followed in Zug. Honking concerts, congested streets, and euphoric fans everywhere. The Bossardhalle opposite the Hertistadion, where the game was broadcast on a big screen, burst at the seams. When the team returned from Davos more than two hours after midnight and plunged into the jubilant Zug fan community with the trophy, the good old Hertistadion seemed to explode. Three to four thousand fans had persevered until this great moment.

Dignity as a Burden

End of the road in the quarterfinals: After three appearances in the finals and the significant triumph in 1998, EV Zug faced challenges in the following years. Key players such as Antisin or Mc Dougall had left the team, and the new foreign players (Kevin Todd, Devin Edgerton) couldn't fill the shoes of their predecessors. Sean Simpson had already announced his departure for Munich during the season. In the first year after the title, the team managed a 5th place in the regular season and qualified for the playoffs (losing 1:4 against Lugano). This marked the end of President Fredy Egli's term, replaced by Gusti von Wartburg.

Subsequently, EV Zug found itself stuck in the quarterfinals for three consecutive years. Despite the addition of highly-paid foreign players like Paul Di Pietro, Chris Tancill, and Todd Elik, and with Swiss player André Rötheli consistently among the league's top scorers, dissatisfaction grew within and outside the club.

On the brink of relegation: The team appeared overaged and often seemed unmotivated and saturated during this period. After a 0:4 loss in the first round of the playoffs in 2000/01 against Kloten, an internal task force was formed to investigate the reasons for the stagnation. Group formation and the team's lack of commitment were identified as some of the causes, and the main culprits were named. Following this, the most criticized key players, including André Rötheli, Patrick Sutter (both to Lugano), Dino Kessler (to Genf), and Andy Künzi (retirement), left the club. This led to significant challenges for the team.

None of Sean Simpson's successors left a lasting impact in Zug. The Finn Rauno Korpi was replaced by the French-Canadian André Péloffy before the 1999/2000 playoffs. Péloffy, after his first full season (2000/2001), was also no longer desired. The low point came during the second season under Canadian Doug Mason (2002/2003): EV Zug was pushed to the bottom of the table, and the downward trend continued even with the emergency addition of Serge Pelletier for Mason. Eventually, the Zuger finished in the 12th and last position in the standings, and the worst had to be feared in the relegation battle. Only a subsequent forfeit victory against Fribourg, which had fielded an ineligible player during their win against EV Zug, secured the Zuger's place in the 10th position.

New beginnings with Sean simpson

The Return of the Zuger
For the 2003/2004 season, Engelbert Huber assumed the role of president, succeeding Hans-Peter Brändli. Aiming for a fresh start with local talent, Sean Simpson was brought back as the coach. Simpson, who had previously secured the Swiss championship in 1994 with the Elite juniors and in 1998 with the NLA team, returned to Zug. Joining him were former players Patrick Fischer, Livio Fazio, and Dani Giger, all of whom had initiated their careers in the youth department. Despite finishing in 7th place, the team reached the playoff quarterfinals but faced a tough challenge against SC Bern, ultimately losing 1:4, despite the addition of NHL legend Claude Lemieux.

In the lockout-shortened 2004/2005 season, EV Zug made significant strides. Goalie Lars Weibel from Davos and forward Oleg Petrov from Geneva bolstered the team with two NLA stars. Due to the NHL lockout, Finnish player Niko Kapanen and Canadian Mike Fisher also joined the squad. After securing a 4th place in the regular season, Geneva was swiftly defeated in the playoff quarterfinals with a 4:0 series win. However, the journey came to an end against the ZSC Lions in the subsequent round (1:4).

First Zuger in the NHL
Consistently ranking among the top 5 teams in the league, EV Zug faced periodic playoff exits, alternating between the first and second rounds. In 2006, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the SCRJ Lakers (3:4), in 2007, they fell to Bern in the semifinals (1:4), and in 2008, despite a 3:0 series lead, they were defeated by Davos in the quarterfinals (3:4).

Following the 2007/2008 season, Sean Simpson bid farewell to EVZ for the second time, moving on to coach the ZSC Lions. Key player Patrick Fischer had temporarily left EV Zug in 2006. After the 2006 Turin Olympics, Fischer became the first Zuger to sign an NHL contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. A year later, he made headlines with a brief stint at St. Petersburg in the KHL.

The Doug Shedden Era

5 Times in the Semifinals
With Canadian Doug Shedden as the head coach and his congenial partner, Finnish Waltteri Immonen as the assistant, a new era began at EVZ in the 2008/2009 season. Both had previously worked successfully together at Jokerit Helsinki. Notable foreigners such as Josh Holden, Micki DuPont, and Jay Harrison were signed, and from Davos, veterans Björn Christen and Michael Kress joined the team. However, EVZ struggled and, after an incredible comeback, managed to secure the eighth place only in the last round. Despite this, they achieved a major coup in the playoff quarterfinals with a 4:2 victory over regular-season winner Bern. However, in the semifinal against Kloten, the fuel was depleted (0:4).

Since then, under Doug Shedden and with Finnish goalie Jussi Markkanen in goal, Zug has regularly qualified for the playoff semifinals, but it has consistently been the end of the road. Only in the last season 2012/2013 were the chances of reaching the final and securing a second championship title once again intact. After a confident 4:0 victory in Bern, the great opportunity was missed in the 6th home game. In the 7th game, the current champion managed to turn the tables.

Top Scorers and NHL Stars
In the Shedden era, the Zug team produced the league's top scorer three times: in 2010 with Canadian Glen Metropolit, in 2011 with Damien Brunner, and in 2012 with Swede Linus Omark. Three players from Zug also made it to the NHL during this time: Luca Sbisa signed with the Anaheim Ducks in 2009, Rafael Diaz with the Montreal Canadiens in 2011, and Damien Brunner with the Detroit Red Wings in 2012. Diaz and Brunner returned to Zug last season during the lockout, leading the team back to the top of the table after a slow start. The undisputed lockout star in EVZ colors, however, was Swede Henrik Zetterberg, captain of the Detroit Red Wings, who is also considered one of the best players in the world's best league.

The Zuger also made headlines in North America on October 3, 2011: In an exhibition match, they sensationally beat the star-studded New York Rangers 8:4 in the sold-out BOSSARD Arena.

Move to BOSSARD Arena
The most significant event during President Roland Staerkle's tenure (2006 - 2015) was undoubtedly the move from the outdated Hertistadion to the state-of-the-art BOSSARD Arena in 2010. The unique stadium is built to Minergie standards, providing players with optimal infrastructure and fans, sponsors, and supporters with a fantastic platform. Not surprisingly, the average attendance in the new arena increased by over 2000 fans per game. In the new stadium, EVZ is also responsible for catering. In the Legends Club, the Sportsbar 67', on the Dine&View terrace, in the boxes, and at several exclusive locations within the stadium, visitors are offered unique match experiences. In addition, two external catering businesses, Pier 41 in Zug and Zunfthaus Kreuz in Oberwil, were taken over.

Premature End
Seemingly both financially and sportingly healthy, EVZ started the 2013/2014 season. However, after a failed start to the season, it soon became apparent that playoff participation could be in jeopardy. Especially the unfortunate filling of the new foreign player positions, combined with the rejuvenation of the squad, had a doubly negative impact. Above all, problems in the crucial goalie position haunted the team throughout the season. Despite a tremendous finish after the Christmas break, they only managed to secure 10th place. The fact that even the reigning champion Bern missed the seemingly secure place among the top eight in the balanced league was of little consolation. Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003 cost coach Doug Shedden and sports director Jakub Horak their positions. Both were dismissed one day after the end of the qualification round.

In the newly introduced intermediate round with the last four teams from the qualification, EVZ, with Waltteri Immonen and Leo Schumacher at the helm, easily secured league survival despite some nervous moments. The points from the qualification were luckily carried over, making it practically impossible for the two bottom teams, Biel and the Lakers, to catch up.

Premiere for harold kreis

Despite the disappointing 2013/2014 season, EVZ remained confident in the chosen path for the future. After all, the team had strategically planned in the transfer market for an extended period, securing the signings of goaltender Tobias Stephan, defenseman Robin Grossmann, and forward Dario Bürgler – all key players from the national team. The club successfully brought in two desired candidates for the new leadership roles in coach Harold Kreis, a former champion coach (2006 Lugano, 2008 ZSC Lions, last with Mannheim), and sports director Reto Kläy from SC Langenthal. Right from the start, Kreis and Kläy ensured that the young team could rely on a more powerful foreign quartet. With veteran Josh Holden, long-time NHL forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Swedish offensive defenseman Daniel Sondell, and the goal-scoring Robbie Earl, the Zug team significantly bolstered its foreign player lineup. Additionally, with National Team forward Reto Suri putting his NHL plans on hold and committing to EVZ, it was clear that the team could confidently pursue its two season objectives – securing a place in the top half of the standings and qualifying for the playoffs.

Kickoff for the hockey academy

2014 is also the first year of The Hockey Academy in EVZ's history. The official kickoff for this unique Swiss training concept, offering athletes the optimal combination of sports, education, and profession, took place in August 2014. The 2+2 system allows athletes to pursue training as an Office Assistant (EBA) and Businessman (EFZ). The main focus is on providing the best sports education with excellent coaches and support staff, ideal training structures, and round-the-clock care, including a solid foundation for future professional development. Learn more at:

SWISS LEAGUE - farmteam evz academy

In September 2016, the new SL farm team EVZ Academy embarked on its inaugural season. The team complements the youth performance teams Elite Juniors A and Novice Elite, aiming to bridge the gap between the elite juniors and the EVZ's first team in the NL. The goal is to provide young players with the opportunity to gain experience and play at a high level, facilitating their transition to the top league in Switzerland. In the medium term, the SL team EVZ Academy aims to exclusively field players aged 23 and younger, preferably from their own youth development program. The primary focus of the SL team EVZ Academy is the development of young players.

Depending on age and skill level, athletes who complete their training in The Hockey Academy, as well as all other EVZ youth players, have the opportunity to play for the Novice Elite, Elite Juniors A, EVZ Academy (SL), or the first team (NL). The EVZ Academy team serves as an ambassador for the unique nationwide training concept of The Hockey Academy in the NL, contributing to increased recognition throughout Switzerland.

50 years EVZ

The year 2017 and the 2016/2017 season were dedicated to the anniversary celebrations of the 50-year-old EVZ. Various major events were organized to mark the milestone, bringing together fans and the Zug community. The anniversary year kicked off with a home game in retro jerseys against Geneva on January 2, 2017. On the founding date of May 5, 1000 invited guests filled the festively adorned BOSSARD Arena for the founding gala. The celebrations continued with a public festival in the first week of September, featuring a nostalgic game in the "sold-out" stadium and a unique anniversary performance in October at the Zug Fair. Throughout the year, the deep-rooted connection and popularity of EVZ in the Central Swiss region were palpable.

The sporting contribution to the anniversary came from the first team, which, 19 years after winning the title and after victories in the quarterfinals against Geneva (4:0) and in the semifinals against Davos (4:2), once again reached the playoff final. However, they faced tough opposition in the powerful SC Bern and were unable to secure victory (2:4). Nevertheless, it was an all-around successful season, reflected in the new attendance record (almost 7000 spectators on average) and the renewed contract extensions of coaches Harold Kreis and Waltteri Immonen, who committed to the enhanced integration of young players.

Coach Change and Fresh Start with Dan Tangnes

In the 2017/2018 season, EVZ managed to confirm the previous year's strong performance, finishing the regular season in second place behind champions Bern. In the Champions Hockey League group stage, they even secured the top spot but faced a stronger opponent (Kometa Brno) in the Round of 16. The harsh reality hit in the playoff quarterfinals, as despite a 4-1 initial victory, the Zuger team was eliminated by the ZSC Lions with a 1-4 series score. Unlike the ZSC Lions, who significantly improved from a disappointing qualification round (7th) and went on to win the title, EVZ seemed to run out of steam in the crucial phase of the championship.

The coaching duo faced criticism for possibly overburdening key players and not providing enough trust or playing time to young talents in the season finale. Consequently, after the season, Harold Kreis and Waltteri Immonen mutually agreed to an early contract termination. A positive note came from the farm team in the Swiss League, which, in its second season, qualified for the playoffs for the first time.

The 2018/2019 season marked the beginning of a new era at EVZ with coach Dan Tangnes, recruited from Sweden's Linköping. The 39-year-old Norwegian sees himself primarily as a developer, aligning well with the club's philosophy. The coaching staff now features a trio with Co-Coaches Josh Holden (who concluded his playing career in March 2018) and Stefan Hedlund (last season coached the EVZ farm team) alongside Tangnes. This setup aims to provide more individualized player support and development. Additionally, the farm team sees a new face in Jason O'Leary, a 40-year-old Canadian who served as Assistant Coach at NL club Genève/Servette last season and guided Langenthal to the Swiss League championship in 2017, known for his passionate approach to player development.

Cup winner and runner-up

The season 2018/2019 finally brought a second title to EVZ: On February 3, 2019, the Zug team celebrated as Cup winners! After a hard-fought 3:2 victory in a shootout in the semifinals in Bern, they also won the final game away against the defending champions SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in the packed St. Galler Kantonalbank Arena with 6100 spectators. Already after 18 minutes, the guests led 3:0, much to the joy of the 1200 traveling fans. In the end, the scoreline favored the favorites from Central Switzerland with 5:1. Over 5000 fans celebrated the team upon their return to Zug, transforming the BOSSARD Arena into a frenzy.

It almost resulted in a second championship title as well. After finishing 2nd in the Regular Season (50 games/97 points) behind SC Bern (50/101), EVZ started the playoffs convincingly: 4:0 in the quarterfinals against Lugano, 4:1 in the semifinals against Lausanne! Only the Bern team managed to halt Zug's express train in the final – and needed a considerable amount of luck to do so. After a 4:1 away win in the first game in Bern, the Zuger were on their way to a 2:0 series lead in the Best-of-7 series. However, an unjustly disallowed goal and an unfortunate 2:3 home defeat in overtime marked the turning point in favor of the regular-season champions.

The premature end of the championship

With the top transfers of goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni from SC Bern and goal scorer Grégory Hofmann from Lugano, the Zug team definitively positioned itself as the number 1 contender for the title before the start of the 2019/20 season. And Dan Tangnes' team lived up to the high expectations, even though the long-assured first place in the regular season had to be relinquished to the ZSC Lions in the 50th and final round due to a 1:4 defeat at the Hallenstadion. The focus of the Zug team was already on the playoffs. There, they would have faced Fribourg-Gottéron in the quarterfinals – but then the coronavirus ended the championship dream. On March 2, the championship was first interrupted, and on March 12, it was definitively canceled. On March 13, the National League clubs decided at an extraordinary league meeting that there would be no champion, no relegation, and no promotion.

The long-awaited second championship title

"The 2020/21 season was also marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting financial concerns. However, Dan Tangnes' team remained undeterred by quarantines, salary sacrifices, and ghost games, securing the first place in the Regular Season for the fourth time in history after 1995, 1998, and 2012, with an incredible consistency. With 119 points from 52 games and a lead of 27 points over second place, the outstanding team set two new records for eternity!

The well-established team, characterized by a winner's mentality and a tangible team spirit, also withstood the high expectations in the playoffs. In the quarterfinals (Best of 7), the challenging SC Bern was eliminated with a score of 4:2, while in the semifinals (Best of 5), the surprising Rapperswil-Jona Lakers were sent on vacation with a score of 3:1. In the final against Genf-Servette, which had previously convincingly defeated Fribourg-Gottéron (4:1) and the ZSC Lions (3:0), EVZ needed only three games for the great triumph. On May 7, 2021, after a 5:1 home victory, the Zug team ascended to the champion's throne for the second time since 1998, securing the coveted title. The vision of the club leadership to become Swiss champions with a team consisting of both top players and homegrown talent from the club's own youth development had become a reality."

Title defended and history made

"With a significantly changed roster, EV Zug embarked on the mission of defending the title in the 2021/22 season. Securing the championship once again and celebrating it with the fans was the team's most fervent wish and the stated goal. The team, which had practically won the title in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic without public presence, fulfilled this wish through a consistent performance throughout the season. In the regular season, they crossed the 100-point mark for the second time and, for the fifth time since 1994, 1995, 1998, and 2021, entered the playoffs from the pole position. With two 4-0 series victories in the quarterfinals against Lugano and in the semifinals against Davos, they swiftly advanced to the final for the seventh time since the introduction of the playoffs.

What followed was an unparalleled drama and emotions. Despite three unfortunate losses and a 0-3 deficit in the final series against the ZSC Lions, the Zug team could not be deterred from the path to a successful title defense. On May 1, 2022, 7,200 euphoric spectators in the BOSSARD Arena, and likely as many at the public viewing on the Arena Plaza, celebrated the 3-1 victory in the 'Finalissima' and the third title in the club's history. A week later, during the championship parade through the Zug city center and at the official celebration on the Arena Plaza, thousands of enthusiastic hockey fans cheered the new and old champions who had made Swiss ice hockey history: Never before had a team managed to overcome a 0-3 deficit in a final series, let alone turn it into a 4-3 victory!"

women & girls program

In the 2023/24 season, EV Zug launched its 'Women & Girls Program,' featuring a women's team in the second-highest league and a hockey school for girls. Zug native Daniela Diaz, former national player and former head of women's ice hockey at the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF), leads the development of the program and also serves as the head coach of the women's team.

General sponsor
Zuger Kantonalbank
Main sponsors
Binelli Group