The EHL was formed in 1996 to replace the European Cup and to act as ice hockey's version of football's popular Champions League. Its formation was not without controversy, however, as qualification to the League was gained by being the best team with a required venue specification! The reasoning behind this was to ensure TV viewers saw what great facilities the modern day hockey fan could expect .. but in practice it meant that only the Manchester Storm could represent the UK - no matter how badly they performed in the domestic League! Even Sheffield Arena didn't meet the specification required!!



The competition lasted for four years until the IIHF pulled the plug in 2000. The European Hockey League was played midweek and failed to attract large paying crowds. The League didn't get a Europe wide TV deal and the cost of getting a team like Manchester's to, say, Moscow and back midweek were huge.

You can hear a report from the Manchester Storm (4) vs Bolzano (2) game here :

 

 


Over those four years though the hockey fans of Manchester saw the likes of Moscow Dynamo and Sparta Prague at the Storm Shelter .... and a few lucky fans got to travel around Europe too.

Storm never made it through the "round robin" format of the competition .. but many of those games were memorable for goals, fights and victories.

 

 

(There are match reports and stats on many of Storm's EHL games on the Fire On Ice archive site)

Leksands 2 - Manchester Storm 3 (1998)

 

1996-1997 European Hockey League
Date
Home
Away
Score
Attendance
08/10/96 Lulea Manchester Storm 10-6 3,851
05/11/96 Berlin Capitals Manchester Storm 6-1 4,308
03/12/96 TPS Turku Manchester Storm 2-1 4,778
24/09/96 Manchester Storm TPS Turku 0-6 5,987
22/10/96 Manchester Storm Berlin Capitals 2-4 4,831
19/11/96 Manchester Storm Lulea 0-11 3,937

 

1997-1998 European Hockey League
Date Home Away Score Attendance
18/11/97 Dynamo Moscow Manchester Storm 9-3 5,000
14/10/97 Sparta Prague Manchester Storm 3-4 2,972
02/12/97 Manchester Storm Bolzano 4-2 5,278
28/10/97 Manchester Storm Sparta Prague 7-0 6,941
16/09/97 Bolzano Manchester Storm 6-5 (OT) 2,500
30/09/97 Manchester Storm Dynamo Moscow 2-3 (OT) 4,530

1998-1999 European Hockey League
Date Home Away Score Attendance
20/10/98 Leksands IF Manchester Storm 2-3 (Pens) -
08/12/98 Ilves Tampere Manchester Storm 7-3 5,434
22/09/98 Manchester Storm Ilves Tampere 4-2 4,072
06/10/98 Bolzano Manchester Storm 1-2 -
27/10/98 Manchester Storm Leksands IF 2-3 (OT) 6,453
24/11/98 Manchester Storm Bolzano 2-5 5,363
 P   W   OW   OL   L   GF   GA   Pts 
 Ilves Tampere   6   4   0   0   2   26   16   12 
 Leksands IF   6   3   1   1   1   20   15   12 
 Manchester Storm   6   2   1   1   2   16   20   9 
 HC Bolzano   6   1   0   0   5   14   25   3 

 

1999-2000 European Hockey League
Date Home Away Score Attendance
28/09/99 Manchester Storm HIFK Helsinki 3-5 4,239
12/10/99 Sparta Prague Manchester Storm 1-1 (Pens) 2,542
26/10/99 Brynas IF Manchester Storm 4-1 2,402
02/11/99 Manchester Storm Sparta Prague 1-4 3,859
23/11/99 Manchester Storm Brynas IF 4-5 (Pens) 1,174
07/12/99 HIFK Helsinki Manchester Storm 6-3 6,171