The pre-season was optimistic and the team participated at an international tournament in Sweden. The roster looked promising. The shock came in mid-August when the prices of energy went up dramatically and the rental costs of Steel arena became enormously high. The club decided to move its operations to the smaller and more cost-efficient Crow arena with a capacity of one thousand people. After the first four games, the team had zero points after four defeats and the players looked frustrated given the conditions.
In October, the Steel arena, City of Košice and the hockey club agreed on close cooperation and brought the home games back to Steel arena. The result was immediate, and the team won ten home games in a row. Smart signings and hard work led by the head coach Dan Ceman helped the team move up to the top four of the table, winning the regular season in its very last round.
Real hockey starts in the play-offs and the team has shown its full strength with rigid defense and scoring effectiveness, heroically supported by both goalies. Week long celebrations brought a lot of desired and well deserved emotions. After tough COVID seasons, the guys brought the trophy back to Košice – the most successful club of Slovak hockey history.
Huge credit goes to the coaches and players as well as all the partners supporting the club even in rocky times. Many of them are AmCham members.
The season 2022-2023 brought another huge milestone and global publicity for Košice hockey thanks to Juraj Slafkovský who became the NHL draft No. 1 and launched his NHL career in the cradle of hockey Montreal Canadiens.
New season brings new challenges
Thanks to winning the title, HC Košice has qualified for the new season of the Champions Hockey League – the European competition of 24 clubs from 11 countries. Košice will be facing three Swiss, two German and one Swedish clubs.
The popularity of Champions Hokey League (CHL) rises and it is becoming prestigious just as its football namesake. All the games are televised and widely promoted throughout social media with a very impressive reach. The international games could attract sponsors with international coverage and the club from Slovakia offers visibility for significantly lower investments than its counterparts in Germany or Switzerland.
Stanislav Mucha, Marketing and PR Director, HC Košice: “We are approaching the prospective international partners with European coverage who can benefit from our cost (investment) competitiveness. CHL is a top class professional contest and it offers really attractive placeholders with huge reach.“
Tips for the trips
Košice partners and fans will have an amazing opportunity to travel to away games and make trips to Switzerland (most likely a double game) and Germany. Especially the game in Munchen could be very attractive also because of the probable date match with the Octoberfest.
The roster for the new season
HC Košice is a fan driven club which needs to reach high game attendance. It’s impossible without high quality players and the sports manager with the head coach are putting together a competitive roster which could be competitive in the CHL games and it should be competing for the top three spots in the Slovak league as well.
We win together, we fight together
The success of HC Košice belongs to the whole community and the club will need the support of all local stakeholders for the forthcoming season again. It will represent all of us. We must not forget that the performance and existence of the club is tightly connected to the existence of the only multifunctional sports and culture venue Steel arena.
The easiest way to support the club is to get the people (employees) to attend the home games (buying either tickets or season tickets) giving them special memories and emotions.
Julius Lang, USSK Vicepresident and president of HC Košice: “Hockey is played for the people and I wish for Košice to have an attendance just like in western leagues. We must be proud of what we have achieved here and the only way to provide sustainability is to stick together and fight on and off the ice.“
Stanislav Mucha, Marketing and PR Director, HC Košice