IIHF Home About the IIHF IIHF Honor Roll Member Countries World Championships Tournaments Olympic Winter Games Pro Classics
Continental Cup

Continental Cup Logo After 32 years the European Cup was discontinued, leaving a large tournament gap for club teams. For 1997 the International Ice Hockey Federation introduced a new tournament for club teams, called the Continental Cup. A total of 42 teams were involved representing 26 countries across Europe and Asia. The tournament was four rounds using a round-robin system, with teams being seeded according to their National Team's finish at the previous World Championship and the geographical position. However, no more than one team per country was included in each grouping.

The first round included five pools and 17 teams, with the leading team qualifying for the second round. At this point 18 more teams were added creating six pools. Again the leading teams advanced to round three. For the semi-final round six more teams were added to three separate pools.

Eisbarėn Berlin of Germany easily won their three games and dominated pool 'M'. Hc Kosice of Slovakia qualified from Pool 'N' and Salavat Ulaev Ufa of Russia swept through Pool 'O'. All that was left was the Continental Cup championship round to be held in Tampere, Finland.

From December 27-30, 1997 the three semi-final winners along with the host club, Ilves Tampere were set for the inaugural edition of the Continental Cup. The first two days produced exciting action, including one game ending in a tie. On the final day Eisbarėn Berlin defeated Salavat Ufa 4-3. This meant the championship came down to one final game between HC Kosice and the hometown Ilves Tampere with the winner being crowned champion of the Continental Cup. It was a hard-fought battle that came down to the final buzzer with Kosice holding a narrow 5-4 lead. Despite the hometown crowd, it was not to be for Ilves Tampere on this day. HC Kosice of Austria had surprised everyone with their play and captured the first edition of the Continental Cup. They now had a date in September for the Super Cup championship with another club from Austria, VEU Feldkirch.

Back to Tournaments List