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The 2017–18 National League season is the 80th season of Swiss professional ice hockey and the first season as the National League (NL). The change from National League A to National League was made at the end of the 2016–17 season.

2017–18 National League season
LeagueNational League
SportIce hockey
DurationSeptember 7, 2017 – March 5, 2018
Number of games50
Number of teams12
Regular season
Best recordSC Bern
Runners-upEV Zug
Season MVPAndrew Ebbett
(SC Bern)
Top scorerDustin Jeffrey
(Lausanne HC)
Playoffs
Semi-Final championsZSC Lions
  Semi-Final runners-upSC Bern
Semi-Final championsHC Lugano
  Semi-Final runners-upEHC Biel
Swiss champion NLA
ChampionsZSC Lions
  Runners-upHC Lugano
National League seasons

ZSC Lions won their 9th NL title, defeating HC Lugano in game 7 of the finals. SC Bern won the regular season for the second consecutive year. EHC Kloten were relegated to the Swiss League, while SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers won promotion to the NL for 2018–19.

Contents

TeamsEdit

Coaching changesEdit

Off-seasonEdit

Luca Cereda replaced Gordie Dwyer as head coach of HC Ambrì-Piotta for the 2017-18 season.[1]

Mark French took over the helm of HC Fribourg-Gottéron for the 2017-18 season, replacing Larry Huras.[2]

Craig Woodcroft was named head coach of Genève-Servette HC after Chris McSorley stepped down of the position and was named General Manager of the team.[3]

In-seasonEdit

Dan Ratushny was fired by Lausanne on October 11, 2017, after posting a 3-0-3-4 record through 10 games this season. He led Lausanne to the playoffs at the conclusion of the 2016-17 regular season, his only season at the helm of this team. Yves Sarault, who was serving as head coach of Lausanne HC's junior team at the time, stepped in to fill the spot as interim head coach, before being named head coach through the end of the current season.[4]

Pekka Tirkkonen was fired by EHC Kloten on October 16, 2017, following a five-game losing streak and after posting a 2-0-0-11 record through 13 games this season, sitting dead last in the National League. Niklas Gaellstedt who was serving as an assistant coach at the time, replaced Tirkkonen as head coach of the team for the time being.[5] On October 24, 2017, Kevin Schlaepfer was named head coach of the team for the remainder of the season and through the 2019-20 season.[6]

Mike McNamara was fired by EHC Biel on November 25, 2017, after a 3-0 loss to the last team in the standings, EHC Kloten, the previous day. McNamara posted an 8-2-2-12 record through 24 games this season, sitting 7th in the standings at the time. Martin Steinegger, the General Manager of the organization, took over the helm of the team as interim head coach.[7]

ArenasEdit

HC Ambrì-Piotta is playing its final years in the old Valascia, as construction for their new building are set to begin in the spring of 2018 and should be ready in time for the 2020/21 NL season. The new Valascia will seat 7,000 people and will be located in the same area as the current one.[8]

HC Davos' Vaillant Arena is set to undergo major renovation at the end of the season to upgrade most of the stands, the concourse and the locker rooms. The total capacity will not change and renovation will cost about CHF 22 million.[9]

HC Fribourg-Gottéron's plans to rebuild the BCF Arena at the end of the 2016-17 season were postponed to after the current season. Construction which will cost about CHF 70 million will start in March 2018 and the arena's capacity will be increased from 6,500 to 8,500.[10] Renovation will last 2 years and should be over in the summer of 2020.

The Patinoire des Vernets in Geneva is set to undergo minor renovation during the first national team break in November. The VIP area will be expanded to add an additional 170 seats and standing room on the north side will be brought closer to the ice rink.[11]

This is Lausanne HC's first of two seasons playing in a temporary arena. The arena seats 6,700 people and cost CHF 11 million for the two seasons.[12] The new arena will be ready for the 2019/20 season with a seating capacity of 10,000.

Due to popular demand, EV Zug had to increase the Bossard Arena's total capacity to 7,200. These seats are located against the boards, next to the penalty boxes and at ice level.[13]

Regular seasonEdit

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 SC Bern 50 27 8 5 10 167 112 +55 102 Advance to Playoffs
2 EV Zug 50 23 10 2 15 153 122 +31 91
3 EHC Biel 50 24 5 7 14 150 124 +26 89
4 HC Lugano 50 26 3 2 19 159 130 +29 86
5 Fribourg-Gottéron 50 20 5 7 18 133 139 −6 77
6 HC Davos 50 21 3 6 20 134 156 −22 75
7 ZSC Lions 50 19 6 6 19 144 133 +11 75
8 Genève-Servette HC 50 16 8 7 19 132 153 −21 71
9 SCL Tigers 50 17 6 4 23 120 134 −14 67 Advance to Playouts[a]
10 Lausanne HC 50 15 4 10 21 149 169 −20 63
11 HC Ambrì-Piotta 50 14 5 5 26 136 168 −32 57
12 EHC Kloten 50 9 6 8 27 120 157 −37 47
Source: NLA
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) a higher number of wins in the regular time; 3) a higher number of wins in overtime and shootouts; 4) goal difference; 5) number of goals scored; 6) drawing of lots.
Notes:
  1. ^ Relegation Playoffs

Player statisticsEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Dustin Jeffrey Lausanne HC 50 13 44 57 +7 4
Fredrik Pettersson ZSC Lions 46 26 24 50 +14 58
Viktor Stalberg EV Zug 46 22 28 50 +14 18
Nicklas Danielsson Lausanne HC 49 25 25 50 +11 64
Garrett Roe EV Zug 44 12 37 49 +24 32
Andrew Ebbett SC Bern 48 14 34 48 +13 10
Mark Arcobello SC Bern 46 18 29 47 +10 39
Marc-Antoine Pouliot EHC Biel 47 13 29 42 +22 89
Luca Fazzini HC Lugano 48 19 23 42 +3 6
Matt D'Agostini HC Ambrì-Piotta 47 19 22 41 -6 86

Leading goaltendersEdit

The following goaltenders led the league in goals against average, provided that they have played at least 40% of their team's minutes.

Player Team GP TOI W T L GA SO Sv% GAA
Leonardo Genoni SC Bern 46 2776 33 0 13 94 8 .929 2.03
Lukas Flüeler ZSC Lions 32 1872 16 0 15 66 2 .919 2.12
Tobias Stephan EV Zug 47 2858 31 0 16 109 5 .927 2.29
Barry Brust Fribourg-Gottéron 38 2308 21 0 17 89 2 .926 2.29
Jonas Hiller EHC Biel 47 2805 27 0 20 109 2 .926 2.33
Ivars Punnenovs SC Langnau Tigers 39 2198 19 0 20 90 1 .918 2.46
Luca Boltshauser EHC Kloten 41 2381 14 0 27 104 1 .918 2.62
Elvis Merzlikins HC Lugano 42 2431 22 0 18 110 4 .921 2.72
Robert Mayer Genève-Servette HC 32 1832 14 0 17 86 2 .909 2.81
Niklas Schlegel ZSC Lions 20 1150 9 0 10 53 1 .897 2.77

PlayoffsEdit

  Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Finals
                           
  1 SC Bern 4  
8 Genève-Servette HC 1  
  1 SC Bern 2  
  7 ZSC Lions 4  
2 EV Zug 1
  7 ZSC Lions 4  
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round)   7 ZSC Lions 4
  4 HC Lugano 3
  3 EHC Biel 4  
6 HC Davos 2  
  3 EHC Biel 2
  4 HC Lugano 4  
4 HC Lugano 4
  5 HC Fribourg-Gottéron 1  

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Confirmed - Luca Cereda is HC Ambri-Piotta's new head coach". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  2. ^ "Mark French takes over behind HC Fribourg-Gottéron's bench". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-05-28. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  3. ^ "It is Craig Woodcroft after all - GSHC signs new head coach". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  4. ^ "Dan Ratushny is no longer Lausanne HC's head coach". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  5. ^ "Pekka Tirkkonen and Pascal Mueller relieved of their duties". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  6. ^ "Faster than anticipated - EHC Kloten and Kevin Schlaepfer agree to terms". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  7. ^ "Mike McNamara no longer EHC Biel's head coach, Steinegger takes over ad interim". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  8. ^ http://valasciaimmobiliare.ch/?lang=en
  9. ^ "Davos presents final project on reconstruction of the Vaillant Arena". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  10. ^ "A loss of almost CHF 130,000 for Gottéron in the 2016-17 season". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  11. ^ "The city of Geneva provides the Vernets with 170 additional seats". tdg.ch (in French). 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  12. ^ "Capacity of 6,700 spectators for Lausanne HC's provisional rink, but no guest sector". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  13. ^ "EV Zug enlarges the Bossard Arena and installs new boards". swisshockeynews.ch. 2017-08-07. Retrieved 2017-08-10.

External linksEdit