Italy is having a terrible World Ice Hockey Championship. 6 games, 6 losses… 1 goal scored (sigh!) and 45 goals conceded. These are merciless figures to say the least. In fact, we think it’s safe to say that the “Azzurri” have been the weakest side of the tournament so far.

It all went south right from the start for the Azzurri… they went behind in the score in the first game against Switzerland after only 77 seconds of play. And then, the game finished with a 9-0 win for the Swiss. But there is more. During the early stages of the first game, Italy lost Giovanni Morini – one of the key player – as he got injured.

We mean, it all went south right from the start. After that memorable loss then, a couple of more losses (equally memorable) followed… in the order, Italy suffered a 8-0 defeat against Sweden, a 3-0 one against Latvia, a 10-0 one against Russia, a 8-0 one against Czech Republic and a 7-1 one against Norway.

The final scores speak for themselves. And the stats aren’t better.

Sifting through some team stats in fact, we find out that Italy is…

* The team with the worst attacking record of the tournament (1 goal in 6 games)

* The team with the worst defensive record of the tournament (45 goals conceded in 6 games)

* The team with the lowest scoring percentage (1.03%)

* The team with the worst power-play efficiency (0.0% tied with Great Britain)

* The team with the lowest amount of shots (97 shots, 16.2 on average per game)

* The team with the highest amount of shots against (307 shots against, 51.2 on average per game!)

These are merciless figures.

It’s almost pointless to analyze Italy’s performances though… the truth is that Italy is not good enough when it comes to talent in order to stand up to the other teams of the tournament. Therefore, the Azzurri are forced to make a virtue of necessity. They can only hope to have one of these days of grace during which the goalie turns into a wall in front of the net and during which also Lady Luck helps.

There is not much to add. If not a trivia… likewise a merciless one.

FROM MARCHETTI TO MICELI

There is no denying that Italy are having a terrible time. Suffice it to say that Angelo Miceli’s consolation goal scored against Norway was the first one of the tournament… and it was scored after 342 minutes and 42 seconds of play!

It was the first goal for Italy at the Worlds (top division) since May 13th, 2017. Back on that day, the Azzurri faced Germany in Köln and suffered a 4-1 defeat… their consolation goal was scored by Michele Marchetti and you can watch it at minute 00:28 of the following video.

735 days have passed since then… and when it comes to the World Ice Hockey Championship, Italy hasn’t scored for 7 games, 42 minutes and 42 seconds. Right, because Italy suffered a 2-0 defeat against Denmark in the last game of the 2017 Worlds, and therefore there are overall seven games without a single goal scored in the top division.

In between, Italy won the Group B Worlds last season and therefore was promoted to the top division. The risk is high, however, that the adventure in the top tier will – once again – last only one year.

It’s obvious that, for what we’ve seen so far, Austria is the favourite to win. But the good part – or the worst part, up to you – of sport and these Worlds, is that if Italy wins… will save face and tournament in one fell swoop.

TABLE

Yet, it’s not over. That’s because also Austria lost all the games… and therefore Italy still has a chance to hope in a sensational survival because next game will be…

TO DO OR DIE GAME

The big date is scheduled for Monday night, May 20th, 2019, at 20:15. That is, when Italy and Austria will play each other and the game will establish which one of the two teams will save its place in the top division. It’s gonna be a “do or die” game. Whoever wins, saves its place. Whoever loses, goes down. It’s as simple as that.

We’re neutral and obviously we don’t support anyone apart from our Swiss National Team. However, the Italian players deserve more. From the outside, it’s obvious that italian ice hockey does not have the necessary support needed to grow as deserved. Ice hockey might even be a niche sport in Italy… but this sport deserves more respect.

We’ll talk about it in the coming days…

Up and at them, dear Azzurri!

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