Announcing new E.H.C. members Timrå IK & DEAC Debrecen
The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs is proud to announce two new member clubs: Timrå IK of the Swedish Hockey League and DEAC Debrecen from Hungary, playing in the Erste Liga. This pushes the number of E.H.C. members to over 90.
“We are truly thrilled to be able to add these two clubs to the Alliance,” said the E.H.C. Managing Director Szymon Szemberg. “With Timrå in our group, we now have all SHL clubs as members, while DEAC is our fourth member from Hungary. We are really pleased with the Hungarian clubs’ ambition to grow their game and to create a network with the leading clubs of Europe.”
Timrå IK (IK = Idrottsklubb; Athletic Club) was founded in 1928 as Wifstavarvs IK, in the community of Timrå, 14 kilometres north of Sundsvall, on the east coast of central Sweden. The hockey program started in 1937 and after several name changes, the club assumed the current name Timrå IK in 1966.
Timrå, a small town of some 10,000 people, is considered one of Sweden’s finest player development centers. Lennart “Lill-Strimma” Svedberg, Inge Hammarström, Peter Lindmark, Mats Näslund and Kjell Dahlin are some of the club’s famous alumni from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s while Henrik Zetterberg, Anton Lander, Elias Pettersson and Jonathan Dahlén are the most recent star players developed at Timrå.
In the last 40 years, the club has taken several turns being relegated from and promoted back to the top Swedish league. The latest promotion from the second-tier Hockeyallsvenskan was earned in 2021 and in the spring of 2022, Timrå defeated Djurgården in four straight games, staved off relegation and sent down the famous Stockholm club to the Hockeyallsvenskan.
With this success, Timrå IK hopes to end the era of ups and downs to become a solid SHL club, striving for playoffs rather than, again, trying to avoid relegation. The club’s most successful years were in the early 70s (runners-up 73/74) and early 2000s when Timrå competed with Sweden’s best for a top-4 position.
DEAC stands for Debreceni Egyetem Atlétikai Club and the team finished seventh in the ERSTE Liga 40-game regular season in the 2021-2022 season and reached the playoff semi-finals.
Just like in Timrå, hockey came to Debrecen in eastern Hungary, in the 1930s when the game was played by students around the University of Debrecen, some 220 kilometres east of Budapest. The university club even became the Hungarian champion in 1937.
The players of the Debrecen Hockey Club chased the puck in the OB I league for two seasons in the early 1990s, and between 2014 and 2017 they spent three successful seasons in the MOL League.
In the fall of 2018, a new era began. Pro hockey returned to the ERSTE Liga under the auspices of the long-established University Athletics Club of Debrecen, a sports association officially formed already in 1919. So, some 100 years following its founding, the University Athletics Club incorporated hockey into its program.
In the four seasons in the ERSTE Liga (which also features three Romanian clubs), the club has reached the semifinal on three occasions. DEAC’s trophy cabinet also includes one ERSTE Liga bronze medal, two Hungarian silver medals and two Hungarian Cup triumphs.
The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs is proud to call Timrå IK and DEAC Debrecen its members.