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The coach risks his life, his neck and his job and wins

The coach risks his life, his neck and his job and wins

Petri Matikainen risks a lot.Image: Cornerstone

Ice Cream Master Zug

No coach in modern history has taken so much risk: Bale is missing six key players due to injuries, and Petri Mattikainen had one of the best Swiss and most accurate foreign players removed from the stands in the derby against SCB. Defeat might have cost him his job. But Biel wins 2:1.

November 5, 2023, 11:47 amNovember 5, 2023, 12:15 pm

Klaus Zug

Bale has won just three of his last 14 games. Last year’s finalist dropped to twelfth place. There are some similarities between the Bible and the hockey profession: wisdom that we know to be very true, for example. But we don’t stick to it.

One of the sayings in hockey is that names are just letters stitched on a jersey, so the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration is performance. This is the case and everyone knows it. However, no one usually sticks to this: if things go wrong, the coach relies on the big names.

Biel lost 3:2 in Langenau on Friday evening and the coach was so upset that he did not want to give the historians any information (there were no historians there). Sporting director Martin Steiniger remains calm and says: “Just don’t lose your nerve now.” He strongly supports his coach. Through all floors.

Biel coach Petri Matikainen at the National League ice hockey qualifying match between the SCL Tigers and EHC Biel, on Friday, November 3, 2023, at the Emmental Versicherungs Arena in…

Petri Mattikainen is not satisfied with his men’s performance (Photo from the match against Langenau).Image: Cornerstone

On Saturday, Biel will host FC Bern. Petri Mattikainen risks his head, neck and job in the match against the giants from the capital. Luca Conte, Damian Brunner, Fabio Hofer, Ian DeRong and captain Gaetan Haas are missing due to injuries. What is Biel without Luca Conte, Damien Brunner, Fabio Hoever, Ian DeRong and captain Gaetan Haas? Lost.

And now the coach is putting Mike Kunzel in the stands for the match against SCB. Power striker. The man of important goals, whose absence was often bitterly lamented, and whose return after a period of injury was eagerly awaited and welcomed. Jesper Olofsson, the team’s top scorer alongside Toni Rajala and Jiri Sallinen, will also have to go into the stands to make room for new signing Reihards Bokarts in the foreign position.

Would sporting director Martin Steininger have continued to hold his nerve and steadfastly support his coach despite such bold tactical measures in the event of defeat to SCB? maybe. Maybe not. With so much bad luck in terms of injuries, you also have to give up a healthy and proven Swiss player and the top scorer rating among foreigners, but consider the Finnish lottery defender Ville Bouka (minus 7 record!). In fact, crazy. The hockey gods help the brave. But in case of defeat, not the sports directors.

Bill Forster's player is honored before the game for his 1,000th National League game by EHCB General Manager Martin Steininger, left, and League Director Denis Faucher, right, in front of the ice hockey team...

The hockey gods help the brave. But in the event of defeat, it is not the sporting directors (pictured Martin Steininger).Photo: Keystone

Biel wins over SCB 2:1. Although SCB took a 1-0 lead early (4th minute) with a solid goal. The way the Belers now use a rare and unorthodox combination of emotion, courage and discipline to force SCB off the ice in an incredibly intense game is impressive, inspiring, fascinating and – of course – of high entertainment value. The Belers get under their opponents’ skin.

The names are actually just letters sewn onto the dress. 38:22 shot on goal, 15:4 solo in the middle third. Reeling under the power of the Pillars attack, SCB recovers, causes the Pillars to falter in the final stretch, and ultimately has to accept what will likely be their worst defeat of the season.

The winning goal was scored by offensively dangerous defender Noah DeLemon (21), who has sat in the stands at times this season. But he brings to the ice the qualities a coach loves: courage and passion. MPs like Elvis Schläpfer, Yannick Stampfli, Jerôme Bachofner and Liekit Reichle enjoyed more than 10 minutes of ice time against SCB, and Luca Christen, who has been in the stands for weeks, has long become a fixture on the defense.

Bern players are disappointed in the National League ice hockey qualifying match between EHC Biel and SC Bern, on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Tissot Arena in Biel.  (Keystone/Peter S...

Long faces at SCB after defeat to Bale.Image: Cornerstone

This win over SCB is the most important for Bale’s new coach yet. He was now willing to provide information to historians (there were no female historians at Biel either). But he does not play the role of the victor. He seems to still be trembling inside and gives an idea of ​​how strong, direct and demanding he is.

When asked about the strategy behind the resignation of Mike Kunzel and Jesper Olofsson, he said:

“I’m not talking about individual players. Just this much: They are both healthy and fit.

He wanted to set an example after the defeat in Langenau. “We were only concerned about it in the final third.” He does not accept excuses:

“Yes, we have a lot of players injured, but that is no excuse.”

Bell v SCB established that the names are actually just letters stitched on the shirt. Petri Matikainen says the team played against SCB with the amount of passion, focus and discipline required, regardless of name and merit.

Mike Kunzel has informed sporting director Martin Steininger that he will definitely leave at the end of the season. The assumption that this might be the reason for not being nominated against the Savings Credit Bank is complete nonsense. Defender Yannick Rathgeb has already signed with Goteron on a five-year contract and is still being used against SCB. In order to take advantage of his dynamic running, the coach used him as a “flywheel” in the attack. Smart move. Yannick Rathgeb was the hardest working striker as he had the most shots on target.

Have we seen the new and future Biel against SCB?

The coach’s post-match appearances are short, precise and intense. Then he leaves again. Not a man of big words. He makes no mistake in presenting himself as a hero. Knowing full well that Bill is off the hook.

Have we seen the new and future Biel against SCB? Maybe even Biel next season? With far fewer big names. With brave and passionate talents who want to make a big name for themselves. The team is no longer a fun running and artistic team, but a wild, rustic but well-organised ‘crowd’, protected by a world-class goalkeeper (Harry Sateri)? So the team is in transition?

Why not? Petri Matikainen has already set a record: never before has a head coach of one of the previous year’s finalists survived the national team’s November break in 12th place, just six points behind the bottom team (after losing points, the gap with Agui is only three points ).

It’s also a record: Bell finished last season in second place with the same number of points as qualifying winner Servette. The stadium’s capacity reached 89.05 percent in the most successful season since its return in 2008. Biel are a crisis team since the beginning of the season, and the usage rate was 94.94 percent. Against SCB, the arena was sold out for the third time in a row (as it was before against Ajoie and Gottéron). We know from the Book of Scripture that man does not live by bread alone. At Biel, the fan doesn’t live from the result alone.

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  • 6-7

    A player with such great talent that on a good evening he can decide the game and be a leader.

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    Good Premier League Player: Often as talented as iridescent butterflies, sometimes hard workers who take great advantage of their talents.

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