Porrentruy, population approximately 7’000. Canton Jura, population almost 80’000. Last night at the Vaudoise Arena of Lausanne there was basically the whole population of Porrentruy, or the 10% of the Canton Jura, to support Ajoie. Without forgetting about all the people that watched this Swiss Ice Hockey Cup on TV.
It was a sea of people dressed in yellow and black, and white and red like the colours of the flag of the Canton Jura, who could cry of joy for the 8th time of the night, a little past 8pm. It was when the game finished and the Jurassiens could celebrate the 7-3 win earned against Davos.
It was a fantastic hockey night, a real party, a great commercial for Swiss hockey. David defeated the giant Goliath, Ajoie defeated Davos and won the Swiss Ice Hockey Cup!
Ideally, to win this Cup, Ajoie had to be able to count on: luck, goals of Hazen and Devos, the best performance in a lifetime of all the players and an underperformance of Davos. And instead, there was no luck, Hazen and Devos scored “only” one goal and Davos only partially underperformed. What Ajoie were able to count on, was a great performance of all the players.
The Canadian coach prepared the game perfectly. Ajoie immediately proved to be rock solid penalty killers… and then built up the positive momentum minute after minute thanks to an impressive efficiency during PP opportunities and thanks to an outstanding team performance!
After 8 minutes and 37 seconds of play Matthias Joggi – former Davos… – scored during a PP opportunity the first goal of the night and gave the fans the first reason to cheer. Shortly after that, during another PP opportunity, Reto Schmutz scored the second goal of the night and from that moment on Davos looked nervous, confused, unable to react. We mean, the “hosts” were already able to put “Goliath” in trouble.
It was then expected a fierce reaction from Wohlwend’s troops after the first break. And instead Ajoie almost immediately extended their lead to 3-goals thanks to Alain Birbaum who scored again during a PP opportunity and then – always during a PP opportunity – went 4-0 ahead with Matthias Joggi!
At that moment, it’s likely that the Jurassiens’ people started to shed few tears of joy. The fact is, that the 4-goals lead was not an accident but the right reward for the Fantastic performance, with the capital F!
After that though, Davos finally found the strength to react and this fact made the game even more exciting. Already before the second break in fact, Luca Hischier and Mattias Tedenby scored for Davos and revived the “visitors” hopes. Moreover, 9 minutes and 15 seconds into the third period, Marc Wieser made it a brand-new game. At that point, probably many people thought that “Goliath” found the way to kill “Davis”…, but “David” wasn’t a legend by accident, and Ajoie didn’t write history by accident.
At the most difficult time in fact, Sheehan’s guys reacted very well. And again, during a PP opportunity (really?!) were able to go 5-3 ahead in the score thanks to Thibault Frossard!
The countdown to write one of the nicest pages of Swiss hockey history started… A countdown punctuated by the goals scored by Michael-Philip Devos and Reto Schmutz that set the 7-3 final score and that extended the number of cheers of the night to 7. And a countdown that ended with the 8th and last “cheers”, the most important one, that allowed a whole population to express their joy for a night they will never forget!
There was an electric environment at the Vaudoise Arena. We watched the game on TV, and we were touched. It was, as said, a great commercial for Swiss hockey!
Davos didn’t lose this game, Ajoie won it. A whole population won it. It’s as simple as that.
The Ibexes wanted the Cup. Their nervousness during the first part of the game spoke for itself. And their attempt to comeback too. They lost the second final in three years against a Swiss League side… but the club came out with its head held high, as it is evidenced by the following tweet of Raeto Raffainer.
nous voulions gagné la coupe 🏆 pour nos partisans et pour l’organisation mais l’incroyable parcours d’Ajoie @HC_Ajoie_off mérite tout notre respect. Ils méritent cette victoire. Félicitations à l’équipe, au groupe d’entraîneurs et à tout les jurassiens ! 🎩#cupfinal 🥅🏒🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/rQFE7W3vwf
— Raeto Raffainer (@RaetoRaffainer) February 2, 2020
But this is Ajoie moment, that won probably the most important trophy of their history. Sheehan’s guys earned this trophy after getting rid of Lausanne, ZSC Lions, Bienne and finally Davos. Who would have thought of that back on September 10th, when the Jurassiens earned 8-2 win against WIKI-Münsingen? That September 10th was the beginning of a fantastic ride that led Ajoie to write history.
A fantastic history. “David” defeated as many as four “Goliath” and gifted their yellow and black, white and red, people with a game, a night, that was unforgettable!