This Friday (8:15 p.m.)
With 24 hours in advance, the Epinal Hockey Club has clearly identified what kind of treats it would like to obtain as rewards when the Bishop of Myre visits the City of Images. Success against Caen is the coveted present. To achieve their goals, the men of Jan Plch and Nicolas Martin will have to be in excellent conditions against opponents ticking all the boxes to be serious candidates for the most brilliant rewards.
This kind of challenge against a large armada generally whets the appetite of the EHC. While they often struggle to find the right carburation and the appropriate solutions against opponents that freeze the game like Chambéry or Montpellier, the Spinaliens will perhaps be comfortable against a member of the top 5. The characteristics offered by the “ Drakkars” could make their job easier, provided they put in the right ingredients and feed on the fervor of the Poissompré cauldron: “It’s true that we can tend to put ourselves at the level of the team of ‘in front. I hope we will be able to repeat what we did like against Brest or Gap. Caen is a team that plays even if it concedes few goals and does not score too many either. It’s in place. It doesn’t often come through. On our side, we want to play our game with speed and skating, ”notes Nicolas Martin, the general manager and assistant coach.
“The objective is to be present”
The other element likely to tip the scales is the offensive realism. 49 shots in Brest and 45 against Montpellier with the arrival 6 six goals scored, the harvest is meager for the EHC. Facing perhaps the best goalkeeper on the board (ex-international goalkeeper Ronan Quemener) and the most hermetic rearguard in the division, it will be essential to find the remedy for his ills to hope to win: “C is our major flaw right now. Taking shots is good but we have to score and make the right choices. We know what to do. We have to put more traffic and take the goalkeeper out of his comfort zone by disturbing his habits. We must not lose confidence, ”recalls Nicolas Martin.
Beyond the prestige of a significant victory at home, accounting realities are taking shape in parallel, as confirmed by the spinalian technician: “We want to consolidate our place in the middle of the table. It’s pretty tight and we don’t have too much room on the other teams who are aiming for the play-offs. We would also come back very close to Caen by winning. The objective is to be present and to get points. »
Carpenter and Rusina operational
Logically, Martin Charpentier (dislocation of the little finger) and Tomas Rusina (affected in the knee) will be able to include themselves in the defensive rotations. Which will greatly relieve the whole and in particular Branislav Bernat who will continue to keep the cage. Regarding the possible arrival of an additional rear, work is still in progress. Sanitary conditions complicate the deal to bring an element from a foreign country but the staff prospect tirelessly.
Epinal will line up: Bernat, Ravel (goalkeepers); Rusina, Donnet, Charpentier, Ritz, Martin, Blanchy (defenders); Rudzan, Fujerik, Lubin, Altidor, Baskatovs, Rapenne, Ganz, Jayat, Nemcek, Thoreau, Breton, Boni, Pernot (attackers).