For the fifth time in six seasons, Skellefteå AIK will play in the Champions Hockey League. Following HV71’s elimination at the hands of Färjestad Karlstad, the four teams which will contest the SHL Semi-Finals have already secured CHL qualification for 2019/20. Consequently, as the fifth-placed team in the SHL regular season, Skellefteå will be the fifth and final Swedish team in the CHL next season.
Skellefteå have been a mainstay in the Champions Hockey League since the tournament’s inception in 2014. They have progressed past the Group Stage in each of their five previous seasons, having the most success in the CHL’s inaugural season where they reached the Semi-Finals.
Last season, Skellefteå AIK and HC Pilsen faced off in one of the most memorable contests in the CHL’s history. The Swedish side trailed 3-0 to Pilsen early in the first leg of the Quarter-Final, before fighting their way back in the third period to leave the teams tied heading into the second leg. In Pilsen, Skellefteå thought they had booked their place in the Semi-Finals following Robin Alvarez’s goal in the 58th minute. However, Jakub Kindl tied the game up with 36 seconds left, and HC Pilsen won the penalty shootout to end Skellefteå’s campaign for 2018/19.
The Champions Hockey League is delighted to welcome Skellefteå AIK back to the Champions Hockey League for the 2019/20 season, and is looking forward to bringing Europe’s premier ice hockey competition back to Västerbotten!