After each game, until when at least 4 teams are playing, we propose you our “Top & Flop” special version for the playoffs.
Our “Team on Fire”, our “Three Stars”, our “Special Mentions”, our “Surprises” and our “Disappointment”. As it is always the case, among the three stars we won’t include only the players who performed the best… but those that in our opinion, one way or another, have made their mark,
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
Bienne are the second team who qualified for the semifinals thanks to the 4-1 overall win in the series against Ambrì-Piotta!
It’s been a tough series, tougher than the 4-1 overall suggests. And the credit for that goes to Ambrì-Piotta who turned out to be a real tough nut to crack. It’s also fair to say, however, that the Seeländers totally deserved the semifinals!
It wasn’t a walk in the park for Antti Törmänen’s troops to face this series during which they had everything to lose. Compared to last season’s playoffs in fact, this time Bienne were the favourite. That’s something new for this team. Moreover, the Seeländers had won before all the 4 games of the Regular Season against Ambrì-Piotta. We mean, these are factors that could make this quarterfinal series a very dangerous double edged sword. These are factors that made this series a real test of maturity.
Well, the Seeländers passed with flying colors!
Yep, with flying colors. It’s true that Bienne delivered a top notch performance only during game-1… but it’s also true that Ambrì-Piotta wouldn’t come out without a fight. And it’s also true that Antti Törmänen’s guys never panicked, not even when they were under pressure, and they always found the way – except in game-4 – to take advantage of the key moments to make the difference and win the games.
These are signs that the Seeländers entered a new dimension. These are signs that Antti Törmänen’s troops learned their lesson of last season during the semifinal series against Lugano. These are signs that prove that Bienne became a fully fledged big team!
OUR THREE STARS OF GAME-5
Heinz Ehlers (Coach, SCL Tigers)
Langnau are playing their first playoffs in history and were up against the wall on the eve of this game. They were 1-3 behind overall in the series and were coming off 3 consecutive defeats. Moreover, they had to travel to Lausanne to face the Lions Vaudois who were extremely self-confident.
We mean, it could be some sort of “mission impossible” to win and to earn the right to play game-6 at the Ilfishalle on thursday night.
Nothing is impossible for the Tigers this season though! The guys excellently coached by Heinz Ehlers delivered a great team performance in Lausanne, a real playoff performance, and won 5-1!
These guys all deserve a big round of applause for this performance that extended their season for at least one more game. Symbolically, therefore, we reward the architect of this fantastic feline who once again found the way to claw the lion and had a second bite of it!
Daniele Grassi (SC Bern)
Once again it was a crazy game in this crazy series between Bern and Genève Servette… and Bern were the first ones who earned a match point thanks to their 4-3 overtime win!
The Mutzen – if we exclude the second part of the central period – delivered a very good performance. Their win was very well deserved. Once again, however, we had the impression that the top guns weren’t able to really make the difference… and so, to make the difference, it was once again the 4th line!
Among the players of the 4th line there is Daniele Grassi, whose performance was seriously a showstopper! The Tessiner Mutzen is turning out to be a real deal for Bern during this series. During game-5 at the PostFinance Arena, moreover, he scored twice.
Luca Cereda (Coach, HC Ambrì-Piotta)
Ambrì-Piotta go on holiday… but they go on holiday with their heads held high! Also during game-5 played at the Tissot Arena, the Biancoblù sold their lives dearly and found once again the way to make their fans proud!
As in the case of Langnau, also for Ambrì-Piotta we reward symbolically the coach who was the architect of this team who, in a matter of two seasons, turned from the National League ugly duckling into a fantastic swan.
Maybe Ambrì-Piotta would have deserved to play one last home game on thursday night… maybe Ambrì-Piotta didn’t deserve to lose 4-1 this series… one thing is sure though: the Leventinesi earned a lot of respect and made a memorable experience that will come in hand in the future.
THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR… THE FANS
At the end of the game Bienne vs Ambrì-Piotta, the visitors fans at the Tissot Arena remained and sang for a long while. Just like they wanted this season to last forever…
Perhaps, in hindsight, this is the best image of the Biancoblù’s season. It’s an image that establishes just how the club and the fans have reconciled. And now, it’s gonna be a long break untill september… mostly because the fans can’t wait for another season to start!
Arnaud Jacquemet (Genève Servette HC)
Genève Servette were once again touching because of their committment and team spirit. They lost game-5 but the series isn’t over…
To note, anyway, that 2 of the 3 Eagles’ goals at the PostFinance Arena were scored by Arnaud Jacquemet. Arnaud is a precious player… yet, he’s surely not a scoring machine. Last night he was playing the 96th playoffs’ game of his career. During the first 95 games, he’d scored 6 goals in total… last night, he scored 2!
Lausanne would have made it to the semifinals if they had won game-5 against Langnau. The Lions Vaudois were coming off 3 consecutive wins, and 3 consecutive good performances, that were such a huge confidence booster.
During game-5, however, Ville Peltonen’s troops turned off the “playoffs mode” and were rightly punished.
Lausanne’s performance against Langnau was almost staggering at times in terms of lack of reaction and lack of physical play. We mean, if you play like that – without energy – chances are high that by saturday you go on holiday.
Even though, let us say, the booing of part of the fans at the Malley 2.0 were really ungenerous…
And now, let’s move on for a very dangerous game-6. A game that must be approached with a different attitude. You can lose games, of course. Even more so because Langnau are a tough nut to crack. During playoffs, however, the attitude must be different.
Up and at them, Lions Vaudois!