NHL: Roman Josi among three nominees for the Norris Trophy

NHL: Roman Josi among three nominees for the Norris Trophy
NHL: Roman Josi among three nominees for the Norris Trophy

The Lausanne miracle did not take place. The LHC lost 2-0 in the Finalissima against Zurich. A look back at an evening between pride and disappointment.

The Lausanne residents were put under pressure from the kick-off. It was Zurich who mainly played in the first minutes. Particularly with Juho Lammikko who came dangerously close to the goal, made a nice pass to the center behind, but all his teammates were busy elsewhere.

The two teams then exchanged shots after shots. First with a shot from Tim Bozon, who missed. Same for Derek Grant at the other end of the ice. And the Lake Geneva Lions were also scared, as with this error by Ronalds Kennins who put himself back on a Zurich cane.

Damien Riat was finally able to offer himself a great shooting opportunity in the 8the, but the puck bounced off Simon Hrubec. Generally speaking, it was difficult for Lausanne to play in its offensive zone, and above all, to shoot. After 20 minutes, there were 19 shots on target for the ZSC compared to 6 for the LHC. The people of Lausanne also had to endure another huge opportunity from Zurich before the break. Connor Hughes, busy on his left, almost left the cage empty, leaving the song free for a shot. It was Théo Rochette who came to annoy an opponent to prevent him from shooting.

At the end of the third, the Lions of Lake Geneva gradually began to create a few chances. Ken Jäger, for example, arrived in front of the cage, shot, the puck was stopped by Hrubec… but not completely. It remained under the pad. Jäger tried again to put him into the goal but he was knocked down by an opponent. The third line also tried a nice combination, but Bozon failed to make it happen.

One more hope

The match was intense. Proof of this is that there were few stoppages in play. The first penalty fell at the start of the second period. It was Denis Hollenstein who was punished for having hooked a Lausanne resident. In powerplay, the LHC tried, but Hrubec stopped everything. The Zurich residents even managed to create a big chance in front of Connor Hughes’ goal.

Zurich who continued to put pressure on the Vaudois goalkeeper’s cage. Lausanne, however, regained some territory and the game became more balanced, even if the visitors always had fewer chances to shoot.

And then it was the turn of the people of Lausanne to be punished. There, the ZSC Lions came very close to opening the score. Hughes deflected a shot which bounced off Andrea Glauser who was right in front of the goalkeeper. The puck flew back towards the net and Hughes saved it again with his pad.

Despite this good return from the Vaudois, they conceded at the worst times. With a few seconds to go, Zurich made it 1-0 through Jesper Frödén. The attacker was able to perfectly receive Juho Lammikko’s puck in front of the cage and deceive Hughes (40eassist: Juho Lammikko and Scott Harrington).

In the process, the Limmat Lions scored a second time. But the referees went to check the validity of the goal on the video for the first time before awarding it. But Geoff Ward requested a coach challenge for obstructing the goalkeeper. And the referees finally proved him right.

“We will learn from this”

The Lausanne players therefore had 20 minutes to reverse the trend and seek, at least, the equalizer and therefore, an extension. They fought with all their might. But they had to admit defeat. At the 47e, Jiri Sekak missed a pass, letting the puck go off Justin Sigrist’s stick. And it was Juho Lammikko who was responsible for finishing the job. However, the Lions didn’t give up and they struggled, they skated, they shot. Nothing happened. Hrubec in front of the cage and his teammates on the ice were too strong. John Fust, sports director of the LHC, confirms.

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Geoff Ward considered the match fair. “The team that had to win tonight has won,” he said before recalling how proud he was of his players. But he was aware of the difficulties imposed by the Zurich team: “It was almost as if we were trying to play not to lose rather than to win the match.”

At the time of the interviews, there was logically a lot of emotion in the Lausanne ranks. The exercise is not simple, but John Fust attempted a first analysis of the match.

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For LHC striker Damien Riat, it is more difficult to see the positives and everything that has been accomplished during the season.

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When we ask the attacker if it is pride or disappointment that takes precedence, the feeling is still a little mixed.

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On the other hand, everyone who was interviewed spoke of the pride they had in their teammates. And despite the disappointment, the mental steel that the team has built throughout the season remains.

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Meanwhile, at the Vaudoise Aréna, 9,600 supporters gathered to watch the match on the Videotron. Unprecedented fervor. The players were informed before the meeting. And to try to get this victory away, we had to visualize ourselves in Malley, as Joël Genazzi, captain of the LHC, explains to us.

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Joël Genazzi thus ends his 11th season at Lausanne HC. How does he look back on this period, now that the club has played its first National League final?

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In all cases, the Lausanne Hockey Club had a magnificent season. There is no doubt that the players and supporters will quickly be impatient to find themselves on the ice of the Vaudoise Aréna to experience great emotions again.

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