Ice hockey: HC Bienne wants to keep the hand in its series against Bern

Ice hockey: HC Bienne wants to keep the hand in its series against Bern
Ice hockey: HC Bienne wants to keep the hand in its series against Bern

Ice Hockey

HC Bienne wants to keep its hand in its series against Bern

HC Biel can push CP Bern even further if they win Act III at home on Saturday (8 p.m.). Here is what pleads in favor of the people of Biel, but also the dangers that await them.

Published18 March 2023, 11:25

HC Bienne (in yellow) leads 2-0 in its quarter-final against Bern. The third act will be a pivotal moment.

Claudio De Capitani/freshfocus

Biel 2, Bern 0, puck in the middle. The third act of a best-of-seven series is a pivotal moment: either a team takes an often decisive 3-0 lead, or the dynamic changes in the opposing camp and everything becomes possible again at only 2-1 in the series. .

Here is what pleads in favor of HC Bienne, but also the dangers which await it before this third act, Saturday at the Tissot Arena.

The defense controls the matches

Players we didn’t necessarily expect, like defenseman Noah Schneeberger, made the difference on the ice in the first two acts.

Urs Lindt/freshfocus

It’s hard to find anything to complain about the defense of HC Bienne, where the seven regularly fielded defenders have all performed well, starting with the two foreigners, the Russian Alexander Yakovenko, whose calm and foresight are blessings in the Icelandic game, as well as the Swede Viktor Lööv, still solid and reliable. The little extra, however, comes from the Swiss, where veterans such as Robin Grossmann (scorer of the first play-off goal) and Noah Schneeberger (scorer in Act II) stood out. Their experience and routine is a boon for the Zealand rearguard.

Säteri, all the difference

HCB’s Finnish goalkeeper, Harri Säteri, made all the difference in this Bernese series.

Urs Lindt/freshfocus

While waiting for his second child, the Finnish goalkeeper could miss the call any day for reasons much more important than a play-off match. On Friday, the goalkeeper missed training and was with his wife, reported the Journal du Jura. Will he be on the ice Saturday for Act III? It is the only unknown that surrounds the world and Olympic champion. The presence in front of the nets of Säteri is obviously a “game changer” for HC Bienne in a series where the goalkeeper opposite, Philip Wüthrich, has shown his limits at this level of the competition. And if Säteri should miss a match, no problem for Antti Törmänen’s group: Joren van Pottelberghe is a luxury alternative.

Keep a cool head

The Biel, unlike Chris DiDomenico, have kept a cool head so far.

Claudio De Capitani/freshfocus

For HC Biel, the key will be to stay in control. Besides Chris DiDomenico, CP Bern has so far not played the card of intimidation or provocation at all. Just as the Biel residents were wisely careful not to wake “DiDo” in Act One, they will be just as careful not to tickle the rest of the Bear pack unnecessarily during Act III. After Thursday’s victory in the capital and despite the explosive events that took place at the end of the evening, the Zealand players took care not to add fuel to the fire and all wisely avoided sensational declarations.

Don’t sell the bear skin…

Captain Gaëtan Haas’s HC Bienne took matters into their own hands, but the Seelanders will be wary until the end of CP Bern.

Claudio De Capitani/freshfocus

Of course, champions such as Simon Moser, Tristan Scherwey or Ramon Untersander should never be underestimated. Just as we should not underestimate the ability of Chris DiDomenico – if he is not removed from the group by then and especially if he finds his senses – to rock a match on his own. The Bernese, however, find themselves nicely short of alternatives: the Canadian Sceviour, injured in the first game and absent in the second, is doubtful. Defender Eric Gelinas has not played since March 2 against Langnau in the league. Finally, a possible tenure of Finnish goalkeeper Tomi Karhunen would involve the exit of one of the foreign outfield players. Not sure that would really suit the affairs of CP Bern. One certainty: the Bernese will have to try something to reverse the course of this series. Biel 2, Bern 0. Puck in the middle. With or without Chris DiDomenico?

The article is in French

Tags: Ice hockey Bienne hand series Bern