Slettvoll prepares the 1985/1986 season aware that it could be the most important one in the club's history bianconero. The purchase campaign brings to Lugano two more pawns of good hopes: Sandro Bertaggia and Andy Ton while Jörg Eberle comes back from Davos, after two national titles. With them comes also a talented Grisonner: Roberto Triulzi from St. Moritz.
1st March 1986, Lugano Swiss champion! A framed season that ends with the most coveted prize, that is the delivery to captain Kaufmann of the first Swiss playoff cup won on the beautiful Davos rink. Hero of the evening and of the entire championship once again Kenta Johansson with no less than four goals in the decisive game that overturned the score from 2-4 to 7-5! The Davos rink was tinged with bianconero with more than 3000 fans following the team. And that night begins the era of the Great Lugano.
Following the saying 'you can't change a winning team' Slettvoll faced his first season as defending champion with the same players as the previous year. Only the arrival of goalkeeper Urs Räber, destined to relay with Thierry Andrey, should be noted.
During the 1986/87 season, in which Lugano was always at the top of the league table, the architect of what would turn out to be the biggest tussle in the history of the Ticino derby: Mats Hallin, also passed through Lugano for a few games. The year 86/87 is also the season that launches Lugano in Europe. First victorious in East Berlin, the bianconeri eliminate what was considered at that time the strongest western team ever: Cologne! No Swiss team had ever managed to reach the final phase of the European Cup. In the championship Lugano repeated its great performance, conquering its second national title in the playoff final against Kloten. But at the end of the season several important pawns left Lugano: Waltin, Lörtscher, Kaufmann, Triulzi and Von Gunten.
To replace the several departures, mainly due to the retirement from competitions, the Finnish Kari Pekka Eloranta, the slinger Peter Jaks, Thomas Vrabec, Didier Massy and Remo Walder are called for the 1987/1988 season. In spite of Slettvoll having a team to build, Lugano confirmed its dominance in the championship. After dominating the regular season, in the playoffs it won its third consecutive title, again at Kloten's expense.
The bianconeri impose themselves in the final three games by winning the last match at the Resega with a goal by Vrabec in the extra time under a literally delirious Curva Nord! Note of merit also for the European Cup held in an enthusiastic Resega. The guests of honour are none other than the mythical CSKA Moscow, then great world leader with the legends Larionov, Makarov, Krutov and Fetisov, Färjestad and Kosice. However, Lugano can do nothing against these sacred monsters of European hockey.
John Slettvoll and Geo Mantegazza 's Lugano conquers the first place in the regular season 1988/1989. But when spring is approaching, the Bernese bears dragged by the phenomenal Renato Tosio wake up from hibernation and steal the title from Lugano! The endless challenge ends after five battles at the Resega, under the incredulous eyes of the fans bianconeri. For the first time since the playoff introduction, Lugano leaves the national title to an adversary. The great disappointment leads to the painful separation of the public from its great idol: Kenta Johansson. With him, Peter Jaks returns to his Ambri and Thierry Andrey leaves Lugano as well.
The goalkeeper Markus Bachschmied, the defenseman Patrice Brasey and the unknown American Lane Mc Donald are thus called to re-launch Lugano in the 1989/1990 season. Unfortunately the latter, at the end of the championship, had to say goodbye to hockey because of a serious eye problem. Lugano is forced to look for a new foreigner and signs the Czech Dusan Pasek. Disqualified by the latter after a violent brawl against Ambrì, the Wizard Slettvoll decides to call at Lugano for the playoff a little Japanese-Canadian named Steve Tsujiura. This little big man will be at the origin of bianconeri's fourth national title, forming with Ton and Eberle a terrible trio! In the final Lugano took revenge for the previous season by winning in four games and conquering the title in the impressive Allmend rink packed with fans bianconeri. Eberle and his mates inscribed for the fourth time Lugano's name in the golden register of the Swiss hockey. A success that practically closes the era of the great Lugano and with it the era of a president beloved by the public, Geo Mantegazza's one. The presidentissimo indeed leaves the team in Fabio Gaggini's hands.