When it comes to Leonardo Genoni, it comes to the one who’s considered to be arguably the best goalie around in the National League…
The 31 years old Leonardo in fact, already won so many trophies and awards. To begin with, he won the Elite Novizen championship with the ZSC U17 back in 2003… as a professional then, he helped his clubs to win five Swiss Champions titles (3 times Davos, 2 times Bern). Moreover, he helped Davos to win two Spengler Cups. He also won the “Jacques Plant” award as the best goalie of the year three times. And we could continue…
In fact, he’s the most successful Swiss goalie ever! Considering that overall he won more titles than legends such as Reto Pavoni and Renato Tosio.
What’s his secret though? Well, there are no secrets. Leonardo Genoni is impressively talented, his positioning is above-average and he’s born with an innate capacity to read the game. What impresses us the most about him, however, it’s his calm… a calm that then, automatically, is transmitted to the whole team.
At times the impression is that Leonardo is not human. He could find himself to be in a “one-on-one” situation at two seconds to the end of game-7 of a playoffs final… and still he wouldn’t express emotions. His mental strength is just crazy!
Surely he’s got a lot of emotions inside him and in his head. But our impression is that Leonardo Genoni is masterclass when it comes to handle emotions. We could make so many examples for that. Let’s take the most recent one… April 6th, 2019, game-6 of the semifinal series Biel-Bienne vs Bern was scheduled at the Tissot Arena. The Bears were up against the wall, a defeat would have sent them on holiday.
Bienne had a date with history and played a great game. In fact, we think it’s safe to say that the Seeländers outplayed Bern for most of the game. But… what about the final score? 0-1… Bienne shot 38 times (Bern only 19) but had to literally deal with a wall in front of the net. Namely, Leonardo Genoni who earned one of the most important shutouts of his career.
It’s likely that Bern “won” the title that day. Thanks to their great character, thanks to their winning mindset… and thanks to Leonardo Genoni.
THE NEXT CHALLENGE, ARGUABLY THE MOST DIFFICULT ONE
Leonardo Genoni played in Davos and he was successful. He played in Bern and he was successful. Next stop, Zug… in order to help the Bulls to become Swiss Champions for the first time in over 20 years.
Will Leonardo be able to follow on Ronnie Rüeger’s footstep and help the club to win the title after an infinite wait? Why not.
Zug build a very strong team on paper. It’s safe to say that the Bulls, never like before, built such a competitive side. Then again, it’s easier said than done… it’s no accident in fact, that only Bern, Zürich, Davos and Lugano won the title during the last quarter of a century. That’s because the four mentioned clubs have, among other things, a winning mindset. The latter you can’t buy at the market but you have to build it over the years with hard work.
Leonardo Genoni, however, could be the factor that helps Zug to make that darn last step!
FROM ZÜRICH … TO ZUG
Leonardo is top class, after all. He proved that since when he was young. He grew up playing in the ZSC Lions organization and in the GCK Lions he played also alongside other players who were able to make it to professionalism. Among them we name, in no particular order… Reto Berra… Lorenz Kienzle… Lukas Stoop… Philippe Shelling… Eric Blum… Matthias Bieber… Luca Cunti… Sven Helfenstein… and others. We mean, what about that for a generation of ice hockey players on the shore of the Limmat.
Leonardo Genoni’s turning point though, came during the 2006 Spengler Cup. Arno Del Curto picked him as Jonas Hiller’s back up goalie for the tournament played after Christmas… and the moment Jonas left and moved overseas, Arno picked Leonardo to replace him.
Initially, in the Canton of Graubünden, Leonardo Genoni had to battle with his former teammate in Zürich Reto Berra in order to convince the coach to make him the number one goalie… finally then, Arno decided that Leonardo would be the number one goalie. And we all know the rest of the story.
Leonardo Genoni proved year after year to be a fantastic goalie. And starting from the 2016-17 season, he transferred to the Swiss capital city Bern… where he had the difficult task of replacing Marco Bührer.
Leonardo’s history in Bern lasted three seasons… during which he helped the Bears to win two titles!
And now, next stop, Zug… the most difficult challenge, try to become the first goalie after Ronnie Rüger able to help the Bulls to become Swiss Champions. Will the best Swiss goalie around be able to make the Swiss Centrals’ fans dream? We’ll have the answer in the future.
Either way, nothing does alter the fact that Leonardo Genoni is pure Class. With a capital C!
He proved that many times also with the Swiss National Team… with which, so as not to miss anything, he won the silver medal at the Worlds in 2018.
Well, what else can we say? Zug’s fans are salivating… rightly so!