Solid from start to finish on Saturday evening, the Jurassians managed to get the upper hand over Zurich for the second time this season (3-1). At the same time, they put an end to their very long series of defeats.
Hallelujah! HC Ajoie ended up winning. For the first time in more than three months and 19 consecutive losses. And it must be recognized that this result – a deliverance for the team and all the people of the Jura – was in no way usurped. This is the seventh victory of the season for Bruntrutain hockey players, the second obtained at home against Zurich after the 4-3 on October 29.
Appointed to the position of coach until March 12 for lack of having found someone to succeed Gary Sheehan, Julien Vauclair obviously does not plan to operate a major transformation in the way of evolving hockey players ajoulots. But change there is all the same after a weekend of competition.
His action plan also includes a point on which the former Lugano full-back seems to take particular interest and where his knowledge, logically, is the most important: establish a defensive base as solid as the means at hand allow it. . By tightening the guard as much as possible in front of the cage of Tim Wolf, the red lantern of Porrentruy deprived the Zurich people of a scheduled flight, despite twice as many strikes addressed in the direction of the opposing cage after twenty minutes (12- 6).
three hours later
This poise was particularly noticeable during the four minutes spent on the penalty kill during the initial period. The day before, in Biel, it was around half an hour that Ajoie had let the match slip away. Against the Hallenstadion Lions, that’s when they found the opening. On the power play, the sending of the blue line of Jérôme Leduc hit the bull’s eye. His seventh achievement of the exercise fell as a just reward, at the same time putting an end to nearly 173 minutes of offensive silence from the HCA. Almost three hours of gameplay!
Matteo Romanenghi, two minutes earlier, had missed the opener after a skilful body feint that put his opponent in the wind. Then Leduc, just after, found the post on the power play. A little later, Ueli Huber will meet the same fate. By sticking to the instructions for 60 minutes, the Ajoulots could finally see the prospect of winning a match. However, that design was halted when Wolf, shortly before the second break, let a seemingly innocuous long-range shot from Maxim Noreau slip through his legs. Two identical goals in their conception, each time scored by a Canadian defender.
It was again during a special situation that the Jurassians regained their lost advantage fifteen minutes from time following a direct recovery from Sebastian Wännström on a serve from Phil-Michaël Devos. Unable to get the better of an intransigent home rear guard, Zurich were ultimately the first to fall to Ajoie in over three months.
Ajoie – Zurich 3-1 (0-0 1-1 2-0)
Raiffeisen Arena. 3821 spectators. Referees: Messrs. Hebeisen, Fluri, Huguet and Burgy.
Buts: 29e Leduc (5 c 4) 1-0, 38e Noreau (Diem, Pedretti) 1-1, 46e Wännström (Devos / 5 c 4) 2-1, 60e (59’23) Schmutz (5 v 5, in the empty cage) 3-1.
Ajoie: Wolf; Leduc, Pouilly; Rouiller, Hauert; Birbaum, Eigenmann; Bartholet; Huber, Devos, Dirt; Asselin, Frossard, Schweri; Frei, Romanenghi, Wännström; Bogdanoff, Macquat, Schnegg. Trainer: Vauclair.
Zurich: Waeber; Weber, Geering; Noreau, Marti; Trutmann, Phil Baltisberger; Guebey; Azevedo, Roe, Quenneville; Bodenmann, Malgin, Andrighetto; Sopa, Diem, Pedretti; Chris Baltisberger, Schäppi, Riedi; Aeschlimann. Trainer: Grönborg.
Notes: Ajoie without Hazen, Joggi (injured) or Fortier (supernumerary foreigner). Zurich without Flüeler, Krüger, Morant (injured) or Sigrist (ill). Shot on the post of Leduc (28e) and Huber (34e). Time out requested by Zurich (59e), who plays without a goalkeeper (58’45-59’23).
Penalties: 2 x 2′ against Ajoie, 6 x 2′ against Zurich.