Last season, Ambrì-Piotta played their 31st game against Langnau away from home and suffered a 4-9 defeat. This season, Ambrì-Piotta played their 30th game of the season against the same opponent but at home. The final score? A 5-2 win.
What a difference, right?
Ambrì-Piotta is having a hell of a season. We don’t know yet if this fantastic Regular Season’s ride will take the team to the playoffs… it’s certain, however, that the Biancoblù are growing a lot.
We were asking ourselves then: what’s changed from last season?
Let’s start by saying that Ambrì-Piotta today – after 31 games – earned only 5 points less compared to the total points earned last season after 50 games at the end of the Regular Season.
This data by itself, it’s saying already a lot.
Then sure, we can talk about the fact that players such as Dominik Kubalik, Dominic Zwerger and Marco Müller grew even further and are a joy to watch.
We can also talk about the fact that a Leader – with a capital L – like Jiri Novotny, took Ambrì-Piotta into some sort of new dimension in terms of character.
However, there is no doubt that the pair Luca Cereda and Paolo Duca is doing fantastic things.
Let’s take the coach Luca Cereda. He’s always with his feet on the ground.. ambitious but also humble… always critical but self-critical at the same time… always with that 4 letters word that starts with “W” and finishes with “K” (Work) in his head…
Let’s take the SD Paolo Duca then. He’s a very clever person who understands a lot about ice hockey… he’s a former player who knows perfectly the world of Ambrì-Piotta… he’s a person who doesn’t talk much but acts a lot… a great scout also able to convince young talents to join the Leventinesi’s club…
What about the President Filippo Lombardi then? He’s some sort of a “dreamer”. A responsible fan. He’s able to combine passion and ambition with pragmatism and seriousness (see the New Valascia).
What do these three persons have in common? Maybe many things that we can’t see from the outside. One thing is sure though: they love Ambrì-Piotta and this makes the whole difference in the world!
Ambrì-Piotta are now a big family again. Finally.
A family that started a new project back in Summer 2017… a project that is paying off probably even earlier than expected.
But let’s get back to the main question: what’s changed from last season?
The numbers do not help us much.
Ambrì-Piotta are earning 0.6 points on average per game more this season and this is the main difference. For the rest, the stats didn’t change much.
In particular, we’re talking about the number of goals scored and conceded on average per game (only slightly increased). We’re talking about the number of shots and shots faced on average per game (last year the Biancoblù were shooting more than their opponents while this season they’re not).
Then again, what’s changed? We think mainly 3 things have changed.
THE HARD WORK
Serious work always pays off. Point. It’s not said that it pays off immediately… yet, perseverance pays off. Ambrì-Piotta started a huge work back in summer 2017 and is growing day after day. The players now finally realize what playing for Ambrì-Piotta really means.
Last season, Ambrì-Piotta needed the perfect performance to win games. This season instead, Luca Cereda’s troops were able to win games also when they were not at their best. This is a huge step forward. Right, because it would be unthinkable to be in the best shape for 50 Regular Season games… and good teams win also when they’re not at their best!
Ambrì-Piotta have their ups and downs, of course. Yet, they always approach the games with a great self-confidence. The players know that, provided that they follow the system of play to the letter, they always have a chance to win. Without forgetting also that by now, the Leventinesi gained some more respect from the other teams.
Ambrì-Piotta can’t afford to let the guard down. In fact, it’s pointless to beat around the bush: other teams are stronger even if only because of the bigger experience.
Actually, however, the Leventinesi have it all!
Benjamin Conz and Daniel Manzato are guarantees. Benjamin has been more consistent so far… the truth is, however, that Ambrì-Piotta can count on an excellent pair of goalies. Surely we all know that a team needs at least a good goalie to be successful.
The system of play allows Ambrì-Piotta to be quite solid. No one, but no one, regardless of the name on the back of the jersey, backs out when it comes to chase an opponents… when it comes to block a shot… Luca Cereda and his staff were able to find the perfect role for each player.
Dominik Kubalik – Dominic Zwerger – Marco Müller… what a trio! At the same time… Matt D’Agostini’s skills… Bryan Lerg’s versatility… Fabio Hofer’s growth… Diego Kostner’s grit… Elias Bianchi’s commitment… Rorhbach, Mazzolini and Lauper’s good will…
Sure, Ambrì-Piotta would benefit from more goals from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line… however, guys, if everything was perfect, the Leventinesi would be at the top of the table.
It’s impressive how the team and the fans are united. The impression from the outside is that the players are very tight-knit group. The fans see that and love the team becouse of that. The environment is fantastic… it’s an environment that motivates the players to play and the fans to follow!
Well, everything is perfect then?! Of course not. Every team can improve and Ambrì-Piotta are no exception.
The truth is that there is still a long way to go to make the playoffs and it’s not so obvious that Ambrì-Piotta will make it. When Luca Cereda keeps everybody with the feet on the ground, he’s so right. This is nothing but realism.
The teams are so close to each other that a couple of defeats are enough to go under the line.
Therefore, we’d like to say something. We hope that, in the event that Ambrì-Piotta don’t make the playoffs, no one will talk about “failure”. Because Ambrì-Piotta’s 2018-19 season, considering where this club is coming from, it’s already a success!
Even if only because at this moment, it looks like survival is a pure formality. And let’s not forget that the club’s target was (is!) survival.
Then sure, appetite comes with eating, after all. The players and the club are ambitious, rightly so. Yet, it’s important to remain calm.
Therefore, go Ambrì-Piotta… chase your dream! But don’t forget that what you’re doing is already impressive.
Best wishes for the last part of the season!