Graz 99ers

  • National League Champion 2000
  • Oberliga Champion 2011

Moser Medical Graz 99ers are an Austrian ice hockey team from Graz (Styria ). The club was founded in 1999 after the previous club, the EHC Graz, during the 1998/99 season the game had to stop operating due to financial difficulties. The Graz 99ers started in the 1999/2000 season in the National League, where they were at first champion. Since the 2000 /01 season they are playing in the Bundesliga.

  • 5.1 fan culture
  • 6.1 club statistics
  • 6.2 Player records 6.2.1 season
  • 6.2.2 total


Predecessor clubs

Hockey was played at Premier League level in Graz mainly of two predecessor clubs:

  • The Hockey section of the ATSE Graz ( Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Club Eggenberg ) was founded in 1947 and won so far the only Grazer Hockey club the championship title in the Bundesliga in the seasons 1974/75 and 1977 / 78th The club was merged in the early nineties with the UEC Graz, shortly after the EC Graz emerged from the. In 2008, the Hockey section of the ATSE Graz was reactivated on league level.
  • The EC Graz (also called " the elephant " ) experienced under President Hannes Kartnig its heyday, however, won despite high financial cost "only" three times the runner-up title in the seasons 1991/92, win 1992/93 and 1993/94. After the departure of Hannes Kartnig, the SK Sturm Graz joined the club, they tried to rescue the EC Graz. When this plan failed, the EHC 1998 Graz was founded with Helmut Botchkay as president. Even in the season 1998/99 but had to be set at the EHC the game operation.

Creation and promotion to the Bundesliga

Formative years in the Bundesliga

The team has been strengthened over the summer around the supports of the first season, but it did not manage smooth start to the championship. Some defeats joined also problems with obligated legionaries added yet stabilized the performance of the team, and the 99ers have established themselves in mid-table. Before the last round, a home game against HC Innsbruck, reaching the fourth rank was still possible, but this opportunity was given. According to the current mode of Graz competed in the quarter- final against the winners EC KAC and lost the series without a win. The season was finished in sixth (of ten participating teams).

Was similar, the second season in the top division. Again, the team placed after a poor start in mid-table, but managed in the end not to displace the Vienna Capitals from fourth place. Shortly before the end of the base passage asked coach Mike Shea to termination of his contract. Peter Znenahlik took over as coach and led the team in the quarter-final against Vienna, but which was again lost without a win in four games with some significant defeats.

In the following season, the 2002/03 season, the 99ers placed first in the front half of the table. During the season, some players fell out injured, which caused the problems due to a non crowded squad. The Swedish defender Calle Johannson was replaced by Rumun Ndur, who had the reputation to deliver frequently hardness deposits if his teammates were in trouble. It was no long- term success, and Peter Znenahlik finally surrendered his coaching job to Ken Tyler. Although the performance of the team stabilized gradually, but in the end finished the Grazer the regular season in seventh and penultimate place. In the quarterfinals, the team met the HC Innsbruck and lost the best-of -five series in three games. Thus, it was the 99ers have failed in three playoff appearances and ten games to retract a victory.

For the first time at the top

In the 2003 / 04 season, succeeded to the 99ers from the first game to make a mannschaftliche unit. These came with Ivo Jan, Warren Norris, Jeremy Rebek and later Dave Chyzowski excellent legionnaires who made resistant for Torerfolge. Halfway through the basic passage Grazer were number one in the table, but they fell back a little, as Ivo January turned out after an appendectomy for six weeks and left a large gap in the storm. In the end, the 99ers managed to reach the fourth place and were qualified for the playoffs. In the semifinals, it was against league leaders EC KAC, and again divided the team in three games without a win from.

The season 2004/05 was for the Grazer about a battle for a playoff berth. After an injury of Jamie Mattie, who was replaced by Christopher Bartolone, the team lost the cohesion and lost eight games in a row, bringing the team slipped far behind in the table. As Mattie had recovered from the injury, the 99ers remained Logout their Topscorers Conny Strömberg to stuff with Mattie the holey defensive. At the end of the main passage, a four-way battle developed around the fourth and final two playoff places. At the last meeting of the season, a home game against EC KAC, a victory was needed to secure the quarter-finals, but the game was lost in the shootout, and the 99ers finished the season without a playoff participation.

Sporting descent

With the 2005 /06 relegation the 99ers began. The main reason for this was a series of injuries that affected key players especially. Culminated this series on 15 November 2005, when Warren Norris lay motionless for a cross check by Patrick Harand on the ice. Respiratory paralysis and concussion were diagnosed. Norris survived through the quick help of the paramedics of the Austrian Red Cross, still on ice prepares an emergency medical care, and then dropped out for several weeks. His replacement, Steve Washburn could accrue even after recovering from Norris, but coach Mike List the season was ended prematurely because of a losing series. Bill Stewart took over the Grazer at a time when they were relegated to last place. A game had to be canceled and criminal verified because the 99ers could make no more competitive squad.

With Mike Bullard a new coach was hired for the season 2006/ 07, and also a large part of the Legionaries has been replaced. However, after a decent start, the 99ers slid again in a losing streak. Mike Bullard was fired and Jim Brithen took over after several weeks of coach search, the team at a time when it was not much more than the whipping boy of the league. Also, he did not manage to stabilize the performance of the 99ers, and so led assistant coach Mike Shea the season to end. Just as quickly as the coach and the goalkeeper were replaced without improvement occurred. After Steve Passmore had been replaced with a Gegentorschnitt of 4.58 and a catch rate of only 87.75 % of Pavel Nestak, finally took over Walter Bartholomew the position to the end of the championship, which was again finished in last place.

Once more extensive changes were made for the season 2007 /08. With Larry Sacharuk a coach has been committed, which should develop a long-term concept for the 99ers. Some Legionaries were exchanged, and with the return of Ivo January should also be attached to more successful times. In goal, they trusted the first time after a long time on a purely Austrian solution with Claus Dalpiaz ( who had been released from HC Innsbruck) and the Salzburg Bernhard Bock. After a tight opening win the second game in Vienna was lost with 1:8. In the following years it became apparent that Sacharuk was not able to develop a real concept, and the consequence was again an early release. Tom Pokel took over the vacant post after some legionaries who had not lived up to expectations, the club had to leave, and was now faced with the task of leading the team in the top six. From ninth place (only league newcomer Alba Volán Székesfehérvár a worse record had to have ) it went into the qualifying round, where, however, the second and subsequent novice runner HDD Olimpija Ljubljana and the HC Innsbruck remained insurmountable hurdles.

After the third botched season in series now painted two of the fan, the " Grazer Elefants " and " Clock Tower Front" the sails and switched to the revived ATSE Graz, in the 2008/ 09 season in the league should deny its first season.

New beginning

Jochen Pildner - Steinburg opted again for a complete restart in the 2008 /09 season. This time it was the aim of engaging a coach, on the one hand already knew the Austrian league and had the other hand, must also present successes. With Bill Gilligan, who had become in the eighties with the EC KAC four times in series champion, proved successful. Gilligan, in turn, replaced some of the legionaries, but was able to keep some key players and strengthen the team specifically. Although it was also this time in the rear half of the table, but after some starting problems, the 99ers found in December 2008 finally combined into a single unit and also won a few games against the favored teams. At the end of the base run, the team was ranked eighth in the table and was thus for the first time since the 2004/ 05 season qualify for the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, the Grazer met the Vienna Capitals and lost the first game away with 0:6. On 19 February 2009, the 99ers won the ice rink Liebenau for the first time since promotion to the Bundesliga a meeting in the playoffs and won 2-1 against Vienna. It was followed by two narrow defeats that resulted in the best- of-seven series in the state of 1:3. The citizens of Graz succeeded with an away win, the second win in the series and then at home the balance in the series. Finally, the team was defeated in the decisive match in Vienna.

Bill Gilligan built on this small success and decided to embark with the 99ers a new way. For the 2009/10 season, a number of well-known Austrian players could be required that formed a virtually entirely new framework for the squad. There were also some good quality transfer card players. In conjunction with the improved squad depth and a largely injury-free season, this meant that the 99ers graduating the first time in club history the main round in the first place. In the quarterfinals, the resignation followed, as the team with 2:4 wins the eighth- KHL Medveščak Zagreb was defeated.

The following season, the Graz fell back again into mediocrity and finished the regular season only in sixth place. The quarter-finals brought a victorious retirement loose against the Vienna Capitals, which ultimately also led to that Gilligan's contract was not renewed. The former Salzburg assistant coach Mario Richer took over his office. In summer 2011, a large part of the service providers of the club was replaced by new players.

Well-known former players

( Team membership and position in brackets)

  • Austria Bernd Brückler (1996-2001, Goalkeeper )
  • Slovenia Ivo January (2001/ 02, 2003 / 04, from 2007 to 2009, storm)
  • Canada Austria Jeremy Rebek (2003-2006, defender)

Participation of players on the All- Star team

Team captains

Champion teams

Farm Team

Since the 2009/10 season featured the Graz 99ers a farm team in the league Slohokej, open the Slovenian Hockey League. The cadres of the farm team is made up mainly of young junior players of the club. In addition, four foreign youth players have been contracted. The performance in the first season, however, were mixed, as the team only reached the ninth and won only five of 27 matches ( goal difference: 74 to 135 ). In the following season could be improved to 7th place.

For the 2011/12 season, the farm team of the Graz 99ers changes in the Austrian National League. Here you play in a lottery syndicate with Kapfenberg Bulls.

Coach of the 99ers

  • Slovakia Miroslav Berek: 1999/2000 ( National League champion)
  • Canada Mike Shea: 2000 - January 2002
  • Austria Manfred Nitsch: January 2002 - February 2002 ( youth coach 99ers )
  • Austria Peter Znenahlik: February 2002 - January 2003
  • Canada Ken Tyler: January 2003 End of Season 2002/2003
  • Canada Mike List: 2003-23 ​​. November 2005
  • Canada Italy Bill Stewart: November, 2005 - March 2006
  • Canada Mike Bullard: April 2006-26. October 2006
  • Canada Mike Shea: an interim basis from November 2, 2006
  • Sweden Jim Brithen: November 13 2006-22. January 2007
  • Canada Mike Shea: January 22, 2007 End of Season 2006/ 07
  • Canada Larry Sacharuk: from season 2007/08-5. December 2007
  • Canada Mike Shea: an interim basis from December 5, 2007
  • United States Tom Pokel: December 11, 2007 - the end of season 2007/ 08
  • United States Bill Gilligan March 2008 - the end of season 2010/11
  • Canada Mario Richer: May 2011 - October 23, 2013
  • Finland Petri Matikainen: since October 23, 2013


The Graz 99ers play their home games at approximately 4,050 -seat ice rink Liebenau, referred to by fans by the design of the saddle-shaped roof and the windowless exterior walls as the " bunker ". Characteristic of the hall are the located only on one side towering bleachers and a covered courtyard, which serves the fans during the breaks as a rallying point and comes up with drinks stalls.


Fan culture

The 99ers had until after the season 2007/08 season three large fan club: the " Grazer Elefants " ( founded in 1991 as fan club of the then EC Graz ), the " Grazer Oranje " and " Lions " and the " Clock Tower Front", the founded in 2005, a sub- fraction of the Graz - Elefants was. Due to the re-establishment of ATSE Graz clock tower, however, the front and the Graz Elefants changed over the ATSE in 2008. Since the 2009/10 season, there is another active fan club, the " Niners ".

Statistics and Records

Club statistics

Note: until the 2006/07 season was performed dividing points after halftime of the base passage. However, the absolute points obtained are given for the regular season for the seasons in question.

Legend: W = Win, L = Loss in regulation time, NNV = Losses after Overtime or shootout, win % = percentage of the total possible points achieved, TVH = Goal difference

Player Records

Statistics since the Bundesliga rise in the 2000/2001 season. Included are all preliminary rounds / playoff games.



Average attendance

  • Season 2003/2004: 2,784 spectators per home game
  • Season 2004/2005: 3,148 spectators per home game
  • Season 2005/2006: 2,375 spectators per home game
  • Season 2006/2007: 2,016 spectators per home game
  • Season 2007/2008: 2,097 spectators per home game
  • Season 2008/2009: 1,813 spectators per home game
  • Season 2009/2010: 2,593 spectators per home game