We want to honour today the Swiss League Champions… namely, Langenthal who are coached by the Swede Per Hånberg!
Langenthal finished the Regular Season 5th placed with 84 points, with the third best attacking record (153) and the fourth best defensive record (113) of the league. The team then, had a fantastic playoffs run…
THE FEAT AGAINST KLOTEN
Langenthal got rid of Kloten (4-1) at the quarterfinals stage even though the Airmen were allegedly the favourites. Even if only because of their name. Because let’s face it, Kloten are always Kloten… perhaps we’re not yet used to the fact that they play in the NLB.
Kloten, moreover, won the first game of the series at the Shoren (3-2 after overtme)… after that, however, Langenthal increased their level of play and won 4 games narrow by scoring 16 goals and conceding only 3!
THE SEMIFINAL VS OLTEN
We moved on the the semifinals… also in this case, Olten were the favourites, even if only because they finished the Regular Season 3rd placed. And also in this case, Langenthal lost the first game (2-1). Also in this case though, Per Hånberg’s troops proved unstoppable and won 4-2 overall the series.
To note that Robin Leblanc, who had scored only 1 goal during the quarterfinal against Kloten, scored as many as 5 goals in 6 games against Olten!
THE “WALK IN THE PARK” VS LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS
It looked like a mission impossible… or at least a very complicated one. La Chaux-de-Fonds finished the Regular Season at the top of the table and then in the playoffs got rid quite easily of EVZ Academy and Thurgau…
Yet, the final turned very soon into a one-sided affair on Langenthal’s favour. Hånberg’s guys won four consecutive games and finally, on April 3rd 2019, were deservedly crowned the Swiss League Champions for the second time in 3 years and for the third time in the last 8 seasons!
BRENT KELLY – The Regular Season’s Top Scorer
Brent Kelly tallied 41 points in 44 games during the Regular Season and was Langenthal’s Top Scorer. The 37 years old Canadian played the 9th consecutive season for Langenthal… and therefore he won all the titles with the club. Brent Kelly had never the chance to play in the National League be he’s been one of the best imports in the Swiss League since the 2009-10 season when he joined Olten. In Olten, however, Brent remained only one season before moving to Langenthal and becoming one of the symbols of the club.
PASCAL PELLETIER – The Playoffs’ Top Scorer
Pascal Pelletier instead, tallied 16 points in 14 games during the playoffs and therefore was the Top Scorer of the team during the post-season. In fact then, Pascal was crowned Swiss Champions for the second consecutive season… last season in fact, he collected 5 playoffs appearances with the ZSC Lions and helped them to win the 2017-18 title. Pascal was playing his first season in Langenthal and surely the fans appreciated him especially during the post-season.
PHILIP WÜTRICH – The young talent
The 21 years old goalie of Langenthal is a real talent. He played 29 Regular Season games and he recorded a good 92.0% saving percentage… then, his performances during playoffs have been outstanding as it is evidenced by the 95.3% saving percentage! The young goalie is in Langenthal on loan from Bern… and it was his first season with a “first team”.
THE COACH – The Viking
Per Hånberg arrived in Langenthal on the eve of last season and therefore helped the club to reach a semifinal during the first season and to become Swiss League Champions this time. These are some excellent results. Before he moved to Switzerland, Per Hånberg had coached mainly in Sweden apart from the period between 2002 and 2004 when he was the coach of Neumarkt/Egna and Gardena in Italy.
LANGENTHAL’S SEASON IN NUMBERS
Goals For & Goals Against
Langenthal had the third best attacking record and the fourth best defensive record of the Regular Season. During the playoffs then, no one scored more than Langenthal who, moreover, had the best defensive record when it comes to goals against on average per game.
Shots & Shots Against
During the Regular Season, only Ajoie, Visp and Olten shot more than Langenthal. Hånberg’s troops, however, were solid in defense… in fact, only Ajoie faced less shot on goal than Langenthal. During the playoffs then, Langenthal shot slightly less than their opponents.
Scoring & Saving Percentage
Langenthal had the third best scoring percentage of the league during the Regular Season and the second best during playoffs. The saving percentage instead, was overall decent during the Regular Season and… massive during playoffs!
PP & PK
Surely the power-play wasn’t among Langenthal’s main strengths, at least during the playoffs. Even though, paradoxically, the game winning goal of game-4 – the one that crowned Langenthal Swiss Champions – was scored by Stefan Tschannen right during a power-play situation! On the other hand, Langenthal have been excellent penalty killers throughout the whole season.
Langenthal had a very good puck possession in percentage during the Regular Season while it was lower than 50% during playoffs.
Well, what else can we say? Congrats, Langenthal!
The 2018-19 has been a success and right now to celebrate it’s a must! For how long? We still don’t know… in fact, it’s not clear yet whether the League Qualification series will take place since Langenthal – unfortunately – can’t play in the National League next season anyway. That’s because the Federation has not given its authorisation to play home games at the “Schoren”.
Either way, the 2018-19 season was one to remember that the team ended in style.