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EFC 2017: EMU and Valmiera winners of the day – 19.10.2017

The match between Estonian EMU and Hungarian Phoenix decided which team would make it to the semi-finals. The match was a real rollercoaster. EMU had a two-goal lead more than once, but their loose defence allowed Phoenix to even the score over and over again. In the end, the match went into a penalty shootout which was won by EMU and thus they proceeded to the semifinal with a 7-6 win.

The match was rather even from the start. After only a few minutes, EMU took the lead. Not long after Phoenix got a chance at a powerplay and 30 seconds later, as EMU’s player #29 Alexander Avtushenko roughed the Phoenix player in the middle, Phoenix were given the possibility to play 5 against 3. However, neither of the powerplays were efficient as Phoenix were focusing maybe too much on passing and didn’t shoot that often. With 5 minutes left of the second period, Phoenix defence couldn’t hold #7 Sven Uue who took his team to a 2-0 lead. But similar to yesterday’s match, EMU’s defence was rather loose. This allowed Phoenix to first decrease the score and then even the score before the end of the first period.

The second period was rather uneventful. Both teams had several scoring chances, but neither of them were using them. In the third period EMU once again took a 2-goal lead. They might have gotten too relaxed as again some players didn’t care as much about defending as they should’ve. This lead to Phoenix’s third goal and not long after they had evened the score to 4-4 as #7 Janos Muller‘s beautiful shot made its way to the net. A mistake was made by Phoenix as they left Avtushenko wide open in the middle and EMU were once again leading the match. The two-goal lead seemed to be a trend in the match as at 56:09 EMU were again leading with the score 6-4. Phoenix didn’t give up but evened the score with 30 seconds left to 6-6 by playing without goalkeeper. It was time for a penalty shootout.

In the penalty shootout EMU were more productive 2-0 thus wining the rollercoaster match 7-6 and making their way to the semifinal.

Best players:
Phoenix #7 Janos Muller
EMU #29 Alexander Avtushenko

Winning the match was important for Valmiera as otherwise they would not make it to semifinals. For Slevik it was enough not to lose with more than four goals. The local team Valmiera was a whole new team compared to their match against Nizhegorodets. They played skilfull and smart floorball against the physical Slevik. Though Slevik’s goalkeeper was on top of his game, the other players were not. Slevik kept wasting their good scoring chances and it didn’t help that Valmiera had well organised defence blocking Slevik´s dangerous shots. Valmiera won the match 3-1 and earned their place in the semifinals. Slevik are group A winner since they had the best goal difference.

Slevik were not on the top of their game during the first period. They were making mistakes in their own end, but luckily their goalkeeper #39 Vegard Tvete kept them in the game with his fantastic saves. At 11:28 Valmiera scored their opening goal on powerplay and were in a 1-0 lead. Few minutes later Slevik also got a chance at a powerplay. But this lasted only for a short while as their physical play backfired and the match was continued 4 against 4.

Halfway in the second period, Valmiera were rewarded a powerplay. It only took them two seconds to extend their lead to 2-0. Slevik had plenty of scoring chances, but they were either wasting them by themselves or Valmiera blocked them.

In the third period Slevik began to get frustrated. The matter wasn’t helped when Valmiera’s #24 Artis Jansons took his team to a 3-0 lead. The local players truly sacrificed themselves for the sake of the team as they kept blocking the hard Slevik shots. Valmiera’s technical skills were also a good match for Slevik’s physical play in the one on ones. Finally Slevik scored their opening goal with few minutes left. For the joy of the local audience, Valmiera won the match 3-1.

Best players:
Valmiera #24 Artis Jansons
Slevik #39 Vegard Tvete