– Tigers with no points in Geneva – will they also lose the top scorer?
The Emmentaler are defeated by Servette 2: 3 and miss the advance to rank 8. Torgarant Jesper Olofsson meanwhile has lucrative offers from Russia.
You look twice, a third time. And wonders: Can that be? The national league scorer list, headed by three long-haulers?
So it was on Saturday evening, before the 19th qualifying round kicked off. Jesper Olofsson ahead of Alexandre Grenier and Harri Pesonen, 27, 21 and 19 points. “A list to frame,” said Pesonen. And what the Finn then said is like a threat to the competition: “It’s not that everything is going perfectly. There is more. “
However, the foreigners are in excellent shape. Olofsson has scored in 12 of the last 13 games, Grenier only came away empty-handed three times. The Canadian scored 1-1 in Geneva, the field seven seconds before the first break. The timing is right these days with the Tigers, they had already scored two goals on Friday just before the end of the third.
In the middle section it was Pesonen who was responsible for the leadership. He succeeded outnumbered – he has already booked four shorthanders this season. But the troubled Geneva for weeks brought about the turning point, won 3: 2. Not least because the Tigers could hardly achieve anything in their six power plays. The defeat will annoy coach Jason O’Leary, his dedicated staff deserved at least one point. “We missed a great opportunity here,” summarized Pesonen.
A sought-after trio
And yet: things are looking up in Langnau. At least in the fight for 10th place, which would mean qualification for the pre-playoff, the Emmental are likely to have a serious say this season. During the difficult phase in late September and early October, the team put their heads together, said Pesonen. “We have a lot of conversations and talked about unpleasant things. That was necessary – it did not miss the effect. But we still afford too many dropouts. We make life difficult for ourselves. “
Pesonen’s contract runs until spring 2023, but the contracts of the other three foreigners are only valid until the end of this season. With the composition of the quartet, sports director Marc Eichmann definitely got it right. Only he will be annoyed in the meantime if he no longer tied the newcomers to the club.
It was not to be expected that Olofsson and Grenier would get off to such a good start. Oloffson’s shooting efficiency was 7.6 percent at SC Bern last season. Now it is over 17 percent. Keeping the Swede (13 goals) will be a Herculean task. According to reports, there are already offers from the Russian KHL, wages: over 700,000 francs. Net, of course. He could earn around three times as much as in the Emmental.
Grenier has also played in the notebooks of various sports bosses, as has the recently ailing Aleksi Saarela. The latter is said to have sent signals in the talks that he wanted to stay in Langnau.
Mayer shines – and is replaced
Do Langnau goalies think the same way? It is still unclear who will stand between the posts next season at the Tigers, sporting director Eichmann will «move forward» in this matter, which is all tricky.
Latvia’s national goalkeeper Ivars Punnenovs would like to keep the club, “he has earned that with his achievements since his promotion in 2015,” says Eichmann. The only thing missing is a commitment from the 27-year-old. It will have to come in the next two weeks. In the last four games Punnenovs has always been a substitute. The Davos loan was given preference to Robert Mayer, who with his excursions behind his own goal gets the pulse of the fans up, but also keeps it sparkling – and above all speeds up the game. Mayer has long been described (whether with a wink or not) as a Tigers defensive player with the best first pass. In Geneva he had to be replaced shortly before the end with pain.
One thing is certain: the keeper exudes self-confidence. For Eichmann he is “definitely a candidate for the next season”, although for financial reasons it will be difficult to reach an agreement with Davos. Another Davos goalie is Sandro Aeschlimann on Eichmann’s radar. In addition, Ambris Damiano Ciaccio is said to have signaled his interest in a transfer. However, should Punnenovs stay, this scenario can be ruled out. The two don’t have the hay on the same stage.
For the time being, there is a lot to do primarily on the ice: there are five games to be played within eleven days before the national team break. A look at the updated scorer list will be encouraging: 1. Olofsson, 2. Grenier, 3. Pesonen.
Philipp Rindlisbacher has been with Tamedia since 2008. He is looking for a team leader of the Bernese sports team as well as a deputy head of the department. In addition, accompanies the ski circus on site and from a distance, reports on ice hockey and wrestling sport.