HK Acroni Jesenice
Hokejski klub Acroni Jesenice (English: Acroni Jesenice Hockey Club), commonly referred to as HK Acroni Jesenice or simply Jesenice, was a Slovenian ice hockey team that last played in the Austrian Erste Bank Hockey League and the Slovenian Ice Hockey League. They played their home games at the Podmežakla Hall in Jesenice. Throughout its history Jesenice was regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Slovenian and Yugoslav ice hockey until September 2012, when the club filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved.
|HK Acroni Jesenice|
|Founded||6 January 1948|
|Home arena||Podmežakla Hall|
|Colours||Red, black, white|
|Slovenian Champions||1992, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Yugoslav Champions||1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988|
Before World War IIEdit
The club's roots date back to the period before World War II, when enthusiasts started skating on a natural ice surface. The name of Karlo Vergles is mentioned most often with regards to these ice hockey beginnings. In the 1940–41 season, the first amateur team was assembled with simple equipment mostly made in the local steel and iron factory. Despite that, Jesenice team lost their first game to Zagreb with just a one goal difference.
After World War IIEdit
After World War II, ice hockey returned to the Podmežakla Sports Park. In 1948, an ice-hockey/skating section was formed in the local sport society under the leadership of Drago Cerar. The year was also important for the fact that it was the first time that Jesenice played in a proper tournament against Maribor, Brežice and Celje, with Jesenice winning the tournament.
Development of hockey continued in Jesenice in the following years with the opening of the artificial ice hockey surface in 1954, which was the first in former Yugoslavia. The new venue also included a stand for spectators.
The Golden AgeEdit
After winning the 1957 championship, Jesenice completely dominated the Yugoslav League by winning 15 consecutive championship titles. Most coaches in this period were foreigners, coming from Czechoslovakia. Notable players in this period include Albin Felc, Dušan Brun, Bogo Jan, Ciril Klinar, Viktor Tišler, Vlado Jug, Gorazd Hiti, Franc Smolej, and Rudi Knez.
After the 1971 season, the Yugoslav championship was more or less divided equally between Jesenice and Olimpija. Jesenice have won the league in 1972–73, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1986–87, and 1987–88. Jesenice have also won the 1974 championship, but the title was later taken away from them by the ice hockey federation. Notable about this period is that the majority of players came from Jesenice or neighboring cities.
After the Slovenian independence (1991 to 2012)Edit
First years after the Slovenian independence were again dominated by the Jesenice team. Alongside local players, the team was reinforced by players from the former Soviet Union under the coaching of Vladimir Krikunov. This resulted in three consecutive championship titles. However, financial and staff problems brought the team to the brink of collapse. The peak of these troubles was the exclusion of Jesenice team from the Slovenian championships in the 1998–99 season.
It took a couple of years for Jesenice to bounce back and in the 2004–05 season, with the arrival of four players from Olimpija, Jesenice won the championship for the first time in over ten years.
in 2006, Jesenice were invited as the first non-Austrian team to play in the expanded Austrian ice hockey championships. From 2006 and until 2012 the club has also won four more Slovenian titles (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011).
Bankruptcy and dissolutionEdit
The club had accumulated debt, reportedly near €2.5 million, at the conclusion of the 2011–12 EBEL season, and was eventually expelled from the league. On 31 August 2012, HK Acroni Jesenice filed for bankruptcy and were dissolved. Their affiliate HD Mladi Jesenice were registered and run separately from the main squad.
- Yugoslav Ice Hockey League (until 1991)
- Yugoslav Ice Hockey Cup (until 1991)
- Winners (8): 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977
- Rudi Hiti Summer League
|1963–1966||Jiŕi Pleticha||3x Yugoslav Champion|
|1966–1967||Rudi Černy||1x Yugoslav Champion|
|1967–1969||Oldrich Mlcoch||2x Yugoslav Champion|
|1969–1972||Ciril Klinar||2x Yugoslav Champion|
|1972–1974||Boris Afanasiev||1x Yugoslav Champion|
|1976–1978||Vlastimil Bubník||2x Yugoslav Champion|
|1979–1982||Boris Svetlin||2x Yugoslav Champion|
|1985–1987||Roman Smolej||2x Yugoslav Champion|
|1987–1988||Vaclav Červeny||1x Yugoslav Champion|
|1991–1993||Vladimir Krikunov||2x Slovenian Champion|
|1993–1995||Sergey Borisov||1x Slovenian Champion|
|2002–2006||Roman Pristov||2x Slovenian Champion|
|2006–2007||Matjaž Kopitar||EBEL: 5th place|
|2008–2009||Douglas Bradley||2x Slovenian Champion; EBEL: 2x Quarterfinals|
- "HK Acroni Jesenice" (in Slovenian). Ice Hockey Federation of Slovenia. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Krušič Gorišek, Živa (3 September 2012). "Miha Rebolj: Hokej na Jesenicah ne bo propadel" (in Slovenian). Siol. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Gruden, Toni (3 September 2012). ""Zelo žalostna zgodba, a hokej na Jesenicah se še igra"" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "Obdobje pred vojno" [Period before the war]. hkjesenice.si (in Slovenian). Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Obdobje po vojni" [Period after the war]. hkjesenice.si (in Slovenian). Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Zlata leta" [Golden years]. hkjesenice.si (in Slovenian). Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Obdobje po osamosvojitvi" [Period after independence]. hkjesenice.si (in Slovenian). Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Konec desetletje dolgega čakanja Jeseničanov na novo zvezdico". sta.si (in Slovenian). 9 April 2005. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Jeseničani v EBEL". 24ur.com (in Slovenian). 12 June 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- Merk, Martin (3 September 2012). "The end of Acroni Jesenice: Most storied club from former Yugoslavia collapses". IIHF.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012.
- Klemenc, Matjaž (3 September 2010). "Čaka jih naporna sezona". Jeseniške novice – Gorenjski glas (in Slovenian). p. 7.
- A. V. (20 August 2011). "Jesenice najboljše prihranile za konec" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 19 October 2020.