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U19 WFC 2016 - Triumphs and tears – 09.05.2016

Sweden is the Women´s U19 World Champion in 2016, after defeating Finland 6-3. Switzerland won the bronze medal, while Germany won the B-division and will be promoted to A-division for the next WU19 WFC to be played in 2018, in Switzerland.

Starting us off today were two placement matches - one between Hungary & USA for 11th place and the other between Austria & Japan for 14th. Neither Austria or Japan had yet to win a game, so they both began enthusiastically, but it was Japan who were able to get early goals and break the spirit of the Austrian defence. The Austrians never gave up but Japan ran away with the game 15-0. A 14th place finish was a commendable effort for their first ever U19 WFC.

Hungary outplayed USA in the other game winning 13-0. USA had played a tough semi-final last night against Canada and with only a small team roster it was difficult for them to find the legs to back-up again early in the morning. Also playing in their first ever women´s U19 WFC, the USA players can feel proud of their effort. Hungary were disappointed to not make the final but made sure that they went home with a winning finish.

The B-final was a rematch between Canada & Germany and the script seemed to be following the same one that was played out in the group game. Canada took the 2-0 early lead, Germany worked their way back into the game to equalise and then move ahead. In their two past games, Canada had come from behind to win and it seemed history was repeating itself in the final period as Canada staged their comeback with two goals in 22 seconds to draw the game even. In the final minutes both teams had their chances to score the winning goal, but it was Germany who suceeded just 30 seconds before the end of the game. For the Germans, a 6-5 victory and the promotion to the A-division for the next U19 WFC was a dream come true. For the Canadian team and their fans their dream was crushed.

The bronze game proved to be one of the best of the event. Switzerland’s Milena Mahler and Czech Republic’s Eva Pistekova traded goals in the first five minutes. The rest of the period had some close calls but no clear scoring chances. A single goal to Switzerland in the second period set the match up for a competitive finish. The Czechs drew even with a beautiful goal to Tereza Hanzlikova, but the Swiss kept battling on and again took the lead. Playing 6 v 5 at the end the Czechs pressed but couldn´t break the solid Swiss defence, and they held on to win 3-2. The Czech players were so disappointed to lose, esepcially after probaby being the best team in the games against Finland & Sweden, but when it counted, the Swiss were stronger.

The gold medal game was between Sweden & Finland who had been the clearly dominant teams throughout the tournament. Sweden came into this game having played 4 games in which they scored 46 goals and had kept a clean defensive record, so it was clear that the Finns had a tough job ahead of them. That job got even harder after Sweden scored the opening goal of the game with just 00:32 played, and another after 8 minutes. But Finland got one back and then an unlucky 5 minute penalty against Sweden´s captain Klara Molin towards the end of the first period allowed Finland the chance to equalise at 2-2.

The second period belonged to Sweden as they showed their wonderful attacking play and their ability to convert chances to goals. A 3-0 period really sealed the win for them, leaving Finland with a huge mountain to climb. They tried, but it was too much to overcome and Sweden, again, took the gold medal. The best team definitely won.


For full stories on all of the matches visit the official event website: www.floorball2016.ca

 Photos from all of the matches can be found on IFF Flickr 

 Full replays of matches can be watched on either IFF YouTube Channel 1 or Channel 2

 Photos: Joe Belanger / Aaron Bell / Greg Pinchin