Written by: Martin Durkin
First period action between Switzerland and Finland in semifinal action, kicked off at 1:10 pm Saturday inside the Yardmen arena. The winner of today’s game would be heading to tomorrow’s final, for the A division championship.
Erkka Winderlund, one of Finland’s most respected coaches for men’s national hockey, has been in attendance, cheering on team Finland as his daughter Daniela plays defense for the floor ball team.
While enjoying his time in Belleville, he felt team Finland needed to make sure they focused on more than just being an offensive team.
“They have played mostly now in only one direction, with offensive play. So after game one, we know more about defensive play too,” said Winderlund.
Belleville native Marc Crawford, has appeared in the arena during the tournament and speaks highly of Winderlund and his expertise.
“He’s one of the most well-known coaches in the world, you go to any coaching conference and if Erkka is speaking, people come to watch him. He’s a very, very smart man,” said Crawford.
At the end of the first period, Finland would be up 1-0 against the Swiss. After 40 minutes of play, Finland would indeed come through with defensive work, helping their team to stay ahead of the game as the Swiss plied on pressure offensively, fighting to get on the scoreboard. At the end of two periods of play, Finland would score once again and keep the lead 2-0.
After three periods of play Finland would go on to win the semifinal match with a score of 5-1. While nothing is yet confirmed, Sweden has been the tournament favourite and expected to be Finland’s opponents.
“I think Sweden is the favourite (team to win),” said Winderlund, “but Finland has a good chance and it’s maybe easier to start as the underdog.”
Players of the game:
Finland – Elina Vanhanen
Switzerland – Andrea Wildermuth