8th week – 28.10.2019 – 03.11.2019
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
On the eve of this last week of play before the international break, Ambrì-Piotta looked in trouble. They were supposed to play two games on the road against Lugano and Bienne other than hosting the league leaders ZSC Lions. If we consider all the injuries Luca Cereda’s troops have to deal with… if we consider the fact that Ambrì-Piotta, on the eve of this week, were coming off three consecutive defeats despite the good performances… If we consider that fact that it’s always difficult to win a derby in Lugano, that Bienne are (were?) their “bête noire” and that the ZSC Lions are currently the best team of the league… well, the Biancoblù seemed doomed to suffer three consecutive defeats.
And instead, right at the most difficult time, Ambrì-Piotta finally reaped the fruit of their hard work and had a dream week. At least until 19 seconds to the end of the last game…
Firstly in Lugano, Luca Cereda’s guys delivered an impressive performance in terms of intensity and energy. They risked throwing away their win as they suffered a painful comeback… but then the hockey gods helped them to earn a crucial shootout win.
Then in Bienne, the Biancoblù did – if possible – even better. They delivered the performance that was likely to be their best one of the season and came back to win a game at the Tissot Arena after 1’432 days.
Finally, against the steamroller ZSC Lions – we should point out that they could rest on Friday night – the Leventinesi stood up to the league leaders. And suffered only at last gasp sorrowful defeat, because of a goal conceded at 19 seconds to the end of the third period.
Luca Cereda said so many times that: “provided that we keep it up, the results will come”. Were there only fitting words? We don’t think so. When it comes to being a smart coach, Luca Cereda is second to no one. He proved that also this last week.
His guys put an enviable physical condition on display, they brought in an incredible energy, they finally started to score with some consistency and finally – in an emergency situation – they proved to have some real character that made their fans proud!
Now, the international break it’s a godsend. Because let’s face it, Ambrì-Piotta really need a break in order to recharge energies both physically and mentally. Yet, this last week before the international break, could have really set the tone for a very emotional and exciting second part of the season.
This week, Ambrì-Piotta are our TOP team. Deservedly so. There is still a long way to go and the playoffs are still far away. Ambrì-Piotta are still at the bottom of the table, after all. But frankly speaking, this last week, we could see everything except a team that is in the last position. We could see a team that with its heart and its qualities is a very tough nut to crack.
And so… keep it up, congrats Ambrì-Piotta!
THE THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Philippe Furrer (HC Friborgo Gottéron)
This week Fribourg Gottéron shocked everybody. Firstly they won 2-1 in Bern and then 4-0 in Zug. Both wins came thanks to very smart and solid performances. If there was anyone who thought that the Dragons could go and outplay the two best teams of the league (on paper) away from home… well, with all due respect, perhaps those people were a little bit fanciful.
The truth is that in both games Gottéron put an impressive goodwill on display though. Coupled with a stratospheric Reto Berra and and impressive soundness. And then there was Philippe Furrer… a player that, in our opinion, when he is at the top of his game he is the most decisve defensive player of the National League.
Both in Bern and in Zug, Philipp Furrer was the master of the defense and delivered two Memorable performances, with a capital M. By heart, we actually don’t recall any mistake during the two games played. He didn’t score points, but that’s not his task.
His task is to help the Dragons being rock solid. And he’s fulfilling this task perfectly.
If you’re looking for an offensive defenseman capable of gifting fans with moments of magic hockey… well, look for someone else. But if you’re looking for a rock solid defensive defenseman, capable of making the difference in the defensive zone and capable of being a pillar of the team… well, then Philippe Furrer is your man. And in Fribourg they can enjoy him!
Daniel Winnik (Genève Servette HC)
Genève Servette delivered two solid performances this week. The first one wasn’t enough to avoid a 4-2 defeat against the “bête noire” Zug… The second one instead, it was enough to outplay Lugano and earn a 4-0 win.
When it comes to the Eagles, there is no denying that you have to talk about the whole team. Patrick Emond’s troops in fact, are second to no one in the National League when it comes to team spirit.
Then, however, willy-nilly, there are those players who can make the difference thanks to their individual performances. There are the two goalies Mayer and Descloux, who when they are at the top of their game are like walls between the pipes. There is Tömmernes, who is always a pleasure to watch. There is Eric Fehr, who improves each passing game. There is Simon Le Coultre, who is proving to be worth (at least) the National League. There is Tommy Wingels… and there is Daniel Winnik!
Well, this week we want to reward Daniel Winnik, who is on fire! Despite what his size (188kg, 95kg) might suggest, the 34 years old Canadian forward is very fast and technically gifted. Moreover, he’s a dominant player both in the defensive and in the offensive zone!
This last week he also tallied 3 points in 2 games. But what’s impressive, it’s the level of his performances and the consistency. What a great import player!
Christian Wohlwend (Coach, HC Davos)
Davos won their two games of the week. Firstly they won 4-3 against Rapperswil on the road and then again 4-3 against Lausanne at home. By doing so, the Ibexes extended their winning run to 5-games… wow!
Now, let’s not beat around the bush. Lately, Davos looked less brillant compared to the earliest stages of the season. And, in this regard, the international break is welcomed. Moreover, the Ibexes can improve as penalty killers. Without forgetting that, in the last couple of games, they struggled to be consistent throughout the 60 minutes of play.
Yet, as we said, they won the last 5 games. Overall, Davos earned 2.08 points per game and that fact makes them the second best team of the National League. Only the ZSC Lions (2.11) did better. Last but not least, Christian Wohlwend’s troops put a very modern and enjoyable hockey on display most of the time.
Frankly speaking, it’s hard to believe that this team was a playout finalist only a couple of months ago. We mean, what about that for a metamorphosis! Symbolically, therefore, we want to reward the coach Christian Wohlwend and his staff. They’re doing a terrific job, and also this last week they were able to make the team play well enough in order to earn yet another 6 points.
Congrats guys, great job!
THE SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR…
Give this poor guy a name… Juraj Simek (SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers)
Lately, there has been a player wearing the jersey number 52 of Rapperswil. The guy is kinda of a good player. Is he a young prospect? Nope, he’s a guy who collected over 400 National League appearances and who tallied almost 200 points. We’re talking about Juraj Simek, who joined Rapperswil on loan and is still waiting to have his name printed on the jersey.
Come on, it shouldn’t be that expensive… right, Rappi? Give this poor guy a name 🙂
2003… Lorenzo Canonica (HC Lugano)
On September 4th, 2003, Lugano played a friendly against Slovan Bratislava at the Resega. The Bianconeri earned a 4-3 win thanks to the goals scored by Peltonen, Hirschi, Conne and Maneluk. It was the eve of the 2003-04 season, a season that saw Lugano make it all the way to the final then lost against Bern.
Few hours earlier, on September 3rd, 2003, instead, a guy named Lorenzo Canonica was born. Namely, the first player born in 2003 who made his National League debut!
His debut came on Friday night in Genève, where he was obviously a little bit shy. Only 24 hours later though, he played another game in Lugano against Bienne… during which Lorenzo was already much more self-confident and delivered a good performance.
All the best for a successful career!
Christian, Pavel and Sean… (HC Fribourg Gottéron)
Christian, Pavel and Sean… they’re not The Three Musketeers but the three guys who are currently coaching the Dragons.
When Fribourg Gottéron decided to continue this season with Christian Dubé as the head coach, assisted by Pavel Rosa and with Sean Simpson as… consulting coach, many people made a mockery of the club.
Looking at the results, however, Gottéron seem like to have made the right choice. We mean, it’s always important to wait before you pass judgement 🙂
From the dictionary, meaning of “hibernation”:
The condition or period of an animal or plant spending the winter in a dormant state.
From the 2019-20 National League season, meaning of “hibernation”
The title holders darn struggle to kick-start their season for real. At times, the impression is that the “turning point” is just around the corner… but then, relentlessly, the Bears hibernate again.
This last week, Kari Jalonen’s troops played three games – against Fribourg Gottéron, Lausanne and Zug – and suffered three defeats. Overall, they lost 12 of their last 17 games played and they’re currently 9th placed with 22 points after 19 games. Moreover, hear hear, they have the worst defensive record of the National League!
And now, thank god, there is the international break.
There is no denying that Bern are underperforming consistently. The team seems tired, downhearted. Moreover, as it is often the case in such situations… when things go bad, they tend to go literlly south and “lady luck” even walks out on you. See the last amazing and very painful home defeat suffered against Zug.
We mean, it’s time to turn things around for real. It’s time to come out of the hibernation mode.
Now, careful though. If you think that Bern can be underestimated from now on… the risk is high that you get burned. The Bears in fact, have all it takes to save this season and even to go all the way and win the umpteenth title of their history!
Moreover, right now the Bears are wounded… and we all know that a wounded bear is extremely dangerous. If Kari Jalonen’s guys can come out of the hibernation mode… and if they can turn the current disappointment into extra motivation, they can still become the favourites for the title.
Up and at them, Bern!