EHC BIEL-BIENNE – HC AMBRÌ-PIOTTA 4-1
Bienne won 4-1 overall this series against Ambrì-Piotta. Put it like that, it appears that it was an enjoyable walk in the park for the Seeländers… the truth is, however, that the Leventinesi sold their lives dearly and all the games – except for game-1 – were balanced and even quite entertaining for the fans!
THE TOP SCORER OF THE SERIES
6 points – Jason Fuchs (4G, 2A)
THE STAR OF THE SERIES
Jonas Hiller (EHC Biel-Bienne)
Bienne could count on Jonas Hiller who was on fire and was catching not only pucks but also the flies who were flying around the arenas in this ugly warm spring! No one can say that the Seeländers made it to the semifinals only thanks to their goalie… but it’s safe to say that a goalie like Jonas Hiller allows you to stay extremely calm also during the moments you’re under pressure. That’s because his performances and his body language instil so much confidence in the team.
THE SPECIAL MENTION
Jason Fuchs (EHC Biel-Bienne)
Jason Fuchs never missed a chance to punish his former teammates… he made it into the scoresheet in every game and tallied a total of 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists). But that’s not it… In fact, Jason Fuchs was among the few players of Bienne who was on “playoff mode” during each game. His qualities are undisputed… and now he’s even becoming more experienced and able to make the difference at the key moments.
THE UNEXPEXTED GUEST
Luca Cereda (Coach, HC Ambrì-Piotta)
Luca Cereda took part in the first playoffs of his coaching career and did a great job. He prepared the team perfectly, he always knew what to do, how to do it, and what to say. Surely the players follow him and you can see that on the ice. Obviously Bienne, on paper, had something more in terms of talent… but Luca, together with his staff, was able to make this series a very tight one!
THE THREE KEY FACTORS
Bienne always found the way – except for game-4 – to make the difference at the key moments of the games. Moreover, the Seeländers rarely panicked even when they were under pressure. Surely Jonas Hiller helped a lot… in our opinion, however, also last season’s experience helped Bienne a lot. We mean, Bienne were the most experienced ones in this series and this made the difference.
Both Bienne and Ambrì-Piotta had many scoring opportunities during this series. Bienne, however, proved more merciless. Both goalies were quite effective… in fact, it’s safe to say that Benjamin Conz stood up to Jonas Hiller. The difference then, was the ability of Bienne to score more regularly when necessary.
Ambrì-Piotta were able to stand up to Bienne in terms of results. One of the reasons why, was their excellent power-play… during power-play opportunities, the Leventinesi were excellent. The Seeländers for their part, were too predictable.
THE KEY MOMENT OF THE SERIES
Bienne outplayed Ambrì-Piotta during game-1 even though the final score was only 3-1 and set during the final stages thanks to an empty-netter. During game-2 instead, Ambrì-Piotta reacted vehemently but Bienne, one way or another, were able to take home another win. At that point it became clear that the Leventinesi would have to go beyond their limits to prevail… and it’s not easy to go beyond your limits for 4 times against an opponent like Bienne.
Goals For & Goals Against
Bienne scored 14 goals, most of which during the first half-an-hour. Regardless of the games’ development, Bienne were ahead in the score at the half-an-hour mark 4 times out of 5… and this is something that made the difference. In fact, it’s difficult for the opponents to be constantly forced to chase you as the game goes on and tiredness plays a huge role.
Shots & Shots Against
Ambrì-Piotta had 3 shots more than Bienne. What’s interesting, however, it’s to note that the Seeländers shot a lot during the first two periods of play and then not much during the third ones… that’s the consequence of what we’ve seen above, that is that Bienne were able to make the difference (in terms of scoring) mostly during the first half-an-hour of the games.
Scoring & Saving percentage
Here is another key factor. As we said, both goalies were up to the task… but Bienne’s scoring percentage was better and this made the difference. The Seeländers have a lot of talented guys in their roster, after all…
Power-play & Penalty-killing
Ambrì-Piotta were much better and much more effective than Bienne during power-play situations. The Seeländers were almost always able to enter the offensive zone and even to move the puck around (even if too slowly…) but they failed to score and were even too predictable. Ambrì-Piotta for their part, confirmed once again why they have one of the best power-play efficiency of the league.
OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
Bienne won 4-1 this series and it wasn’t so easy. The Seeländers had everything to lose… they were the favourites and had won all the 4 Regular Season games against Ambrì-Piotta. We mean, this allegedly “easy” series could turn out to be a real dangerous double-edged sword. Antti Törmänen’s troops, however, were able to stay focused and in the end deservedly made it to the semifinals. And now they can start to dream big…
Probably Ambrì-Piotta would have deserved to play one more game at the Valascia. Luca Cereda’s troops, if we exclude game-1, turned out to be a real tough nut to crack for the Seeländers… in the end, details made the difference during each game. And, oftentimes, details favour the most experienced like the Seeländers. The playoffs’ ride lasted only 5 games for Ambrì-Piotta… but everybody of this club can go on holiday with his head held high!