The regular 2017/18 season of the SEHA - Gazprom League has been concluded, the four teams aiming for the trophy - Vardar, PPD Zagreb, Celje PL and Meshkov Brest - and Skopje as hosting venue for the Final 4 tournament (13 to 15 April 2018) are confirmed. Before the pinnacle event of the competition is about to start, here are the most important Facts and Figures of the SEHA - Gazprom League season and the history of the competition:
0 of all ten teams of the SEHA - Gazprom League finished the regular round either with a clean record or without any win: But Vardar took a new record by only a single draw and 17 victories in 18 matches.
1 - for the first time the defending SEHA - Gazprom League champion is the defending VELUX Champions League champion at the same time: HC Vardar.
1 semi-final pairing of this season - Vardar vs Meshkov Brest - was the fixture of a previous final, when Skopje won the trophy by a 29:27 in Novi Sad in 2014.
1 team only managed to defend a title in six Final 4 tournaments so far: Veszprem in 2015 and 2016.
1 Final 4 host only - again Veszprem - managed to raise the trophy on home ground, in 2015.
1 Final 4 debutant made it to Skopje: Celje PL, the first ever Slovenian team at the final tournament.
2 of 3 former winners of the SEHA - Gazprom League have booked their tickets for the Final 4 in Skopje: Vardar (winners in 2012, 2014, 2017) and PPD Zagreb (2013). Veszprem (2015, 2016) are not part of the competition anymore.
2 Final 4 SEHA - Gazprom League participants had qualified for the knock-out stage of the VELUX EHF Champions League: Meshkov Brest made it to the Last 16 for the third straight and defending Champions League champions Vardar even skipped the Last 16 to qualify for the quarter-finals as group winners. PPD Zagreb and Celje PL closely missed the knock-out stage.
2 matches of the regular round ended with 70 or more goals - compared to four in the 2016/17 season.
3 participants of the 2018 Final 4 of the SEHA - Gazprom League have been part of all Final 4 editions since 2013: Vardar, Meshkov Brest and PPD Zagreb. Vardar and PPD Zagreb even made it to all final tournaments since the start of the competition in 2011/12.
4 clubs – PPD Zagreb, Vardar, Tatran Presov and Nexe - are part of the SEHA - Gazprom League since their start in the 2011/12 season.
4 - which means all - nations represented by the Final 4 SEHA - Gazprom League participants had at least qualified for the eighth-finals of the 2017 World Championship in France (Belarus and Macedonia were eliminated in the round of the last 16, Croatia finished fourth ranked, while Slovenia took the bronze medal. At the 2018 EURO in Croatia, all four nations qualified for the main round.
5 times so far, Vardar made it to the final of the SEHA - Gazprom League (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), while Meshkov Brest were finalists twice (2014, 2015) and Zagreb once (2013).
6 times before - which means at every edition of a SEHA - Gazprom League Final 4 tournament - Vardar and PPD Zagreb had locked horns. In 2013, PPD Zagreb won the final 25:24 after extra time, 2012 (30:29), 2014 (30:22), 2016 (26:24) and 2017 (36:28) Vardar took the upper hand in the semi-finals, in 2015, PPD Zagreb won the bronze final 26:23. In 2018, both sides still can duel either in the final or the bronze medal match again.
6 nations are represented by the ten clubs, participating in the SEHA - Gazprom League season 2017/18: Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia (each two clubs), Slovakia and Belarus.
6 different cities in five different countries have hosted the Final 4 events of the SEHA - Gazprom League so far: Zagreb, Skopje, Novi Sad, Veszprem, Varazdin and Brest. Skopje now is the first city to be host for the second time.
6 times including the upcoming edition, Vardar and PPD Zagreb are part of the Final 4 tournaments of the SEHA - Gazprom League, which means both sides had always qualified for all final events.
9 different countries have been represented by clubs since the start of the SEHA - Gazprom League: Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Hungary and Belarus.
11 goals had been the hugest difference in any final match of the SEHA - Gazprom League so far, when host Veszprem clashed Meshkov Brest 32:21 in 2015.
12 of the 90 matches of the regular season 2017/18 ended with draws, six times, Nexe were part of those ties. In the 2016/17 regular season, only seven matches ended with a levelled result.
13 matches of the regular season ended with a difference of ten and more goals after only eight in the season 2016/17.
14 points Vardar were ahead of runners-ups PPD Zagreb in the final table of the regular round - a new competition record. The biggest gap so far were six points each of Veszprem ahead of Vardar in the 14/15 and 15/16 seasons.
17 goals was the hugest difference in the regular season, when Gorenje Velenje beat Vojvodina 37:20.
23 different clubs had been participating in the SEHA - Gazprom League since their start in the 2011/12 season.
25 of 27 possible points were taken by Vardar in their away matches of the regular season, they only tied at Brest.
27 of 27 possible points were won by Vardar in their home matches.
28 times in the 90 matches of the regular season, the away teams were victorious - nearly the same number as in the previous season (27).
25 matches of the regular round ended with an overall number of goals of 60 or more, after 34 in the previous season.
40 goals was the lowest number of goals scored in a singular match of the regular round, when Vojvodina beat Metalurg 21:19.
52 points are the brilliant outcome of Vardar to top the ranking of the regular round for the second straight time - after 47 points in the previous season.
50 times in the 90 matches of the regular season, the home teams were victorious, in the 2016/17 season, 54 home wins occurred.
55,7 goals had been scored in average in every match of the regular season, compared to 57,2 in the previous season..
74 was the highest number of goals in a singular match of the regular round, when Vardar beat Dinamo 42:32.
+120 is the goal difference of Vardar after the regular season (after +89 the year before), ahead of PPD Zagreb and Celje PL (+51 each) and Gorenje Velenje (+41).
100 goals were scored by Metalurg’s Halil Jaganjac to be top scorer of the regular season. The best scorer, who is still in competition, is PPD Zagreb’s wing Zlatko Horvat, who netted in 79 times so far.
148 shots in 18 matches were saved by Gorenje Velenje’s goalkeeper Klemen Ferlin to top this ranking ahead of Igor Chupryna (Tatran Presov/140). Best goalkeeper still in competition is Celje PL’s Urban Lesjak by 135 saves.
445 goals were conceded by Vardar to have the best defence after the regular season ahead of PPD Zagreb (463) and Gorenje Velenje (482). Celje (489) and Meshkov Brest (499) are on the positions five and six.
565 goals were scored by Vardar to have the best attack after the regular season ahead of Celje PL (540), Meshkov Brest (532) and Gorenje Velenje (523). PPD Zagreb finish fifth on 514 goals.
1232 fans in average attended the matches of the regular season.
5017 goals had been scored in total in the 90 matches of the regular season, 131 less than in the previous season.
110842 fans attended the 90 matches of the regular season of the SEHA - Gazprom League in total.