Injuries are never an excuse when it comes to judging the results of a team. However, there are exceptions to every rule and in this case the exception is represented by the 2019-20 season of Ambrì-Piotta. Luca Cereda had to deal with a surreal series of injuries… a series that started already before the season. This fact obviously affected the results, even more so considering that right this season the club was playing in many competitions (National League, Champions Hockey League, Swiss Cup and Spengler Cup) for the first time in history. Because let’s face it, for each club it’s a problem when you must deal with so many injuries. For the Leventinesi though, it’s even a bigger trouble considering their financial situation.
Preliminary closed. It was a necessary preliminary, however, in order to say that Amri-Piotta had all in all a very good season. Despite the fact, that they earned 16 points less compared to the last one and despite the final 10th place.
The club’s target was survival and, with or without the coronavirus, it’s likely that finally the target would have been achieved. That’s because, except from few occasions, Luca Cereda’s troops always put an impressive attitude on display. That’s because, despite the negative overall results, the Biancoblù were able to make their fans proud basically every night.
Right this attitude and commitment put on display united the players, the club and the fans even more. Therefore, it’s time to say that last season wasn’t an exception. Nope, Ambrì-Piotta is back being a great family!
WHAT DID WORK
Luca Cereda repeats over and over again: if a team like Ambrì-Piotta wants to have success, needs to work harder than the others. Point. The message of the coach came across because when it comes to fighting spirit… well, the Biancoblù are second to no one, but really no one.
Power-play – Penalty-killing
Despite Dominik Kubalik’s departure, Ambrì-Piotta confirmed to be one of the best teams of the league when it comes to PP and PK efficiency. Luca Cereda’s guys had the third best PP efficiency of the National League and were the second-best penalty killers.
The Valascia is that magical place… that very soon, unfortunately, will no longer exist. Ambrì-Piotta, however, continues to feel good at home and finished the season with the 7th home record of the league. That’s not bad for a team that battles to avoid relegation. Luca Cereda’s troops earned 1.68 points on average at the Valascia, where they even had the best defensive record of the league (only 57 goals conceded) together with the ZSC Lions and Genève Servette. We mean, each team struggled to earn points at the Valascia.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Ambrì-Piotta was great at home… but at the same time was terrible on the road. The Leventinesi finished the season with the second worst away record of the National League. Only Rapperswil did worse. On the road, Luca Cereda’s guys wo only 4 games plus 3 more after shootouts. That’s not good enough.
Even strength play
Ambrì-Piotta was excellent during PP ad PK situations but wasn’t as much effective during even strength play. The Leventinesi finished the season with the worst goals difference at even strength. Oftentimes, at even strength, an individual play helps to make the difference, and in this regard Ambrì-Piotta struggled.
The Biancoblù had the second worst scoring record of the league. It’s true that Dominik Kubalik’s departure was hard to digest… overall, however, we think it’s safe to say that way too many players weren’t at the top of their game when it comes to turning the team’s hard work into goals.
THE THREE STARS
Luca Cereda, his staff and the club
Luca Cereda with his staff, Paolo Duca and the club… they’re all doing a terrific job. Ambrì-Piotta is a big family again and a team capable of making the fans proud regardless of the results because the attitude is always the right one. This team is the perfect example of the fact that results are important but things such as the fighting spirit and the attitude are even more important when it comes to gaining respect.
Matt D’Agostini had one of the best seasons of his career. If not the best one. He was among the few players who didn’t get injured and thanks to his class and determination he made the difference most of the time. Real leader!
Daniel Manzato was the number one goalie for a very long time, also due to the injury of Benjamin Conz. Well, Daniel had a great season and turned out to be one of the best goalies of the league. He finished the season with a 91.97% saving percentage… among the number-one goalies, only Tomi Karhunen, Tobias Stephan annd Reto Berra did better.
Noele Trisconi is the perfect image of Ambrì-Piotta. Fighting spirit, never give up attitude, determination and will to go beyond the limits. The young forward deservedly played a very important role.
Scottie Upshall didn’t remain long in Ambrì and even got the time to get injured… in that short time, however, he’s left his mark and identified perfectly with the mentality of the club also by leading the “geyser” few times. In our opinion, he deserves a special mention.
Goals For – Goals Against
Goals For – Goals Against even strength
Ambrì-Piotta had the second worst scoring record of the National League but also had the 6th best defensive record. Needless to say where the problem was. To note, however, that as we said previously the Leventinesi were the worst team at even strength.
Goals For – Goals Against each 10’
This chart shows that Ambrì-Piotta conceded way too many goals during the last 10 minutes of play. Was it a problem with the physical condition? We don’t think so. Rather, we think it was a problem of fatigue due to injuries and due to players, who couldn’t make the difference at the key moments.
Leading, tied, trailing
Ambrì-Piotta was trailing too much (32.67% of the time). In this regard, it was the third worst team of the league. Only Rapperswil and Langnau were forced to trail their opponents longer than Ambrì-Piotta.
Scoring percentage – Saving percentage
Ambrì-Piotta had the worst scoring percentage of the league together with Langnau while when it comes to saving percentage the Leventinesi were the third best team of the league (only Genève Servette and Fribourg Gottéron did better).
Power-play – Penalty-killing
As we said already, PP and PK weren’t a problem for Ambrì-Piotta. The Leventinesi were one of the best teams of the league both during PP and PO situations. It’s as simple as that.
THE SEASON IN ONE QUOTE
An injury is not just a process of recovery, it’s a process of discovery
Injuries have put a strain on Ambrì-Piotta this season. It’s hard to imagine that this club may have another such unlucky season in the future. However, as once Conor McGregor said, an injury is not just a process of recovery but it’s also a process of discovery. And Ambrì-Piotta discovered, or rather had the confirmation, that the path taken few years ago is the right one. Among thousands of difficulties and considering that the roster was not the best one of the league Luca Cereda’s guys proved to be a tough nut to crack countless times. We mean, it was a very important season during which not everything went wrong. Quite the contrary.