DAY 5: Eight Teams Fighting for Quarterfinals in Today’s Playoffs – 05.12.2018

The group stage is over and elimination stage is about to start. Eight teams will meet in the play-off round and will fight for four spots in the quarterfinals, where they would face the first and second teams of group A and B. The first match, Latvia against Slovakia, starts at 10:00 at the O2 Arena.

The first day of the elimination stage will be opened by the clash between Latvia and Slovakia. The Slovaks absolutely dominated group D and are the best scoring team of the tournament with 45 goals. The very interesting development of events in group A sent the Latvians to the 4th position, despite they defeated the Czechs, who won the group. Latvia and Slovakia have a balanced head-to-head record – they played against each other twice and both teams won one match. Last time they met in Riga two years ago, where Slovakia triumphed 6-5 in overtime in the 9th place match. The game winning goal was then scored by the 19-year-old Michal Dudovič, who is currently the scoring leader of the entire championship with 16 points (7+9). The winner will take on Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Denmark didn’t win a single point in the tough competition in group B, which sent them into the play-off round. On the other hand, Estonia dominated group C, winning it without losing a single point. Rickard Rydel, who scored a hat-trick against Thailand, is the team’s scoring leader with seven points (5+2). Estonia and Denmark met four times at the past world championships, with Denmark winning on three occasions. Last time, two years ago in Riga, the Estonians showed a magnificent comeback for 0-5 to 5-5, but the Danes decided about their victory in overtime. Mikkel Skov Nielsen, who is Denmark’s shared scoring leader with two points (1+1) along with Jesper Roland Bückner at this championship, recorded two points in that game. The better side from this clash will encounter the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

Today’s third match will feature Australia and Norway in their first-ever encounter at the World Championships. Australia finished second in group C, losing only to Estonia. The native-Czech Gärtner twins are among the team’s leaders. Daniel is Australia’s scoring leader with 8 points (5+3) and Tomas sits in third with 5 points (3+2). On the other hand, Norway enters the playoffs from the third place of a very tough group B. They lost against Sweden and Finland but outplayed Denmark 9-3. The more successful team from this pairing will take on Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

The final battle for the quarterfinals between Germany and Canada will start at 18:30 at Arena Sparta. The Germans defeated Latvia 5-4 in a close match on Monday and which helped them move up to the 3rd place in group A. Canada reached the playoffs with the help of the high Slovak win against Singapore. But they added their main contribution themselves, by thrashing Japan 14-2. The two teams met just once in the history of the world championships. It was in Zurich, back in 2012, and Germany won 10-2. The Germans are favorites this time as well, but such a one-sided result is not really expected. The Canadian forward Valtteri Viitakoski holds the 9th position in the individual statistics of the championship with 7 points (5+2) and Canada also has the fourth best power-play of all teams (42.86 %). The winner of this clash will take on Finland in the quarterfinals.

World Floorball Championship – 5th December:

Latvia – Slovakia 10:00, O2 Arena

Denmark – Estonia 12:45, O2 Arena

Norway – Australia 15:30, Arena Sparta

Germany – Canada 18:30, Arena Sparta