DAY 8: Battles for Final Start, Quarterfinal Losers to Fight for Fifth Place – 08.12.2018

The expected strongest four teams advanced to the semifinals, i.e. the home team of the Czech Republic, Sweden, the defending champions from Finland, and Switzerland. But the Swiss players were close to being eliminated from the medal battles – in the quarterfinals they overcame the tenacious Norwegians just 3:2 in overtime. Today’s schedule also includes the first two matches for the 5th to 8th place.

The teams that lost in the quarterfinals have yet to play two matches, just like the winners. They will fight for the 5th to 8th place. The Saturday’s program will be opened by the clash between Norway and Latvia. They already met eight times in the history of the world championships. Norway won the first three encounters, but the games have been tighter and tighter lately. Two years ago in Riga, the teams drew 5-5. The Latvians met Slovakia in the play-off round and had to show some quality as it wasn’t an easy match at all. But then in the quarterfinals they lost to the Swedish favorites 1-14. Norway, on the other hand, outclassed Australia in the play-offs before playing an absolutely evenly balanced match against Switzerland in the quarterfinals. However, they eventually lost 2-3 in overtime and will definitely not repeat their third place from 1996. Ole Mossin Olesen, who recorded 9 points (4+5) in five games, is worth mentioning from the Norwegian squad.

The second match for the 5th to 8th place will feature Denmark and Germany. Both teams faced each other four times at the world championships, with Denmark winning all of the encounters. The Germans were closest to beating Denmark four years ago in Gothenburg, where they lost in 3-4 in overtime in the play-off round. The Germans went past Canada in the play-offs, but then were stopped by Finland. Denmark overcame Estonia 3-2 in the play-offs, before clearly losing to the home team in the quarterfinals. Neither of the teams has a big personality that would stand out with his individual stats, but rather more players contribute to the teams’ scoring. 

Finland faced the Czech Republic at every championship since 2006 and all games ended in Finnish victory. This was four times in the semifinal, including the one back in 2008 here at the O2 Arena in Prague, when Finland won 4-2. The Czechs have beaten Finland only once, 4-3 in Helsinki in 2002. The Czech team sailed past Denmark in the quarterfinals and the captain Matěj Jendrišák contributed with a hat-trick to the final result 10-1. Quite surprisingly though, it’s the 22-year-old Adam Delong and not Jendrišák who stands out most from the home team. With 11 points (8+3), he sits on the third place in the tournament’s individual stats. Finland met the tenacious Germans in the quarterfinals, who however didn’t have many chances as expected and the defending world champions won 6-1.

The mutual history of Sweden and Switzerland at the world championships is quite rich. And one-sided. The two countries met nine times and the Scandinavians triumphed eight times. In 2006, Switzerland managed to draw with Sweden 4-4 in the group stage. Moreover, the teams faced each other five times in the semifinals. The Swiss players were closest to success 10 years ago at the O2 Arena in Prague, when they lost 2:3 in overtime. One of the world’s best floorball players, Rasmus Enström, has good memories of the matches against Switzerland as he decided the last two encounters with a game-winning goal. At this championship though, Alexander Galante Carlström is the Swedish scoring leader with 11 points (9+2). On the Swiss side, Christoph Maier stands out with 7 points (4+3).

World Floorball Championship – 8th December:

Latvia – Norway 11:00, Arena Sparta

Denmark – Germany 13:00, O2 Arena

Czech Republic – Finland 16:00, O2 Arena

Sweden – Switzerland 19:00, O2 Arena