Where the Montanara resonates
Sometimes the most beautiful Christmas gift can arrive early. For example, December 23rd. In this story, however, the landscape is not snowy but icy and hymns are heard, but they are not the sacred ones. Then suddenly the coach tells his deputy: put the boy on. He says it in English. The boy hears those words echoing and wonders if he has translated the phrase well. And then yes, the guy who debuts in the first team is just him. It happened ten years ago and that boy was Isacco Dotti.
This is how he made his debut in the National Hockey League in front of the Valascia audience. On that rink, the blades of his skates had started to slip since he was 7 years old. For him, it was a dream come true. The dreams that you realize can be beautiful but hockey is a sport that requires sacrifices, team spirit, courage and dynamism, and teaches that you can always fall, but also that from the hardest falls you can get up. For this reason, in a historic year for the Ambrì Piotta Hockey Club, which will see the inauguration of the new stadium and finally retire the legendary Valascia, we have chosen to tell the world of white and white by a privileged observer: Isacco Dotti.
Dotti, born with skates?
“Since I can remember I have always skated. Then at the age of 7 I started to play in the youth of Ambrì and since then I never stopped until my debut in the first team.”
How did it happen?
“We played at home against Bern. I was a member of the first team, I didn’t expect to play. But at some point the coach, who was Kevin Constantine, told Diego Scandella to let me play. We ended up winning in overtime and being there on the rink, with the fans singing the Montanara, it gave me goose bumps. I said to myself: I want to continue experiencing these emotions.”
“The following season I had surgery on my hips and ended up playing in the First League in Biasca. I also had a lot of fun, I played carefree. I went on to study engineering and had almost given up all hope of returning to a higher level. But then came the promotion to the Serie B. I worked 50% as an engineer to be able to keep up with the training. Finally, after two years, the HCAP offer arrived and so I returned to play at Valascia.”
How does sport reconcile with the profession?
“Playing in the major division, I have had to reduce my company commitment to 30%. I deal mainly with projects in the field of civil engineering.”
Can sport also be an aid to the profession?
“When you play two games a week plus practice, it is obviously hard to think of being able to work full-time. But even sport, like with family, taught me to work as a team, to seek a shared solution, to pursue the best compromise for the group.”
From next season will you say goodbye to the historic white-blue house with regret?
“Of course, Valascia represents not only the history of the HCAP for me and many of my comrades, but it is linked to many personal moments of joy or suffering, sport and life. But I do not deny that it is as both a player and an engineer, I am curious to see the new arena. In the past few months when we finished training we sometimes went to see the construction site, for example in autumn-winter when they laid the roof. It’s a great project and we all want to test ourselves on the new rink.”
The hope is to see her immediately full of audience?
“Yes, having played a year without a crowd made me feel that when you say that fans give you an extra boost, it’s not just a figure of speech. Playing with the public is another emotion. Not only on the track. For me it is essential also after the game, meet the supporters outside and comment on what happened. It gives me a sense of how many people care about what we do. It’s hard to explain in words but it gives you an incredible awareness to face the next games.”
Who knows if the first time he hears the Montanara being sung in the new arena, like that time ten years ago, his first time, Isaac will come back to feel those shivers that make you feel to occupy the only place in the world?
Year of birth: 1993
Profession: civil engineer and hockey player
He started to hold the stick in the HCAP files when he was 7 years old. After his debut in the first team, he had to leave professional hockey for surgery on his hips. However, he quickly recovered and after a few seasons returned to the military in the Swiss National League with the colours of Ambrì Piotta. He works as an engineer for the Afry branch of Rivera.