Written by: Martin Durkin
It’s Saturday night in beautiful Belleville and team Canada is ready to go against team U.S.A, and battle for North American bragging rights, when it comes to the world of floorball.
If Canada wins this game they will move on to challenge for gold in the B division. Going into the match up they are currently 3-0, while team U.S.A is 2-1 after the round robin. As both teams wait to come on the floor for their warm up session, the Yardmen is filling up quickly with one hour to go before period one begins.
While local fans in their seats may be eager to see a classic matchup with the States, Canada coach Todd Crawford says the focus is still on the tournament itself.
“It’s going to be motivation for us (but), it doesn’t matter who we play, it doesn’t matter what the day is, you know when you come into this place, you’re going to get a great test by our team and that’s what we’ve shown in the first three games,” said Crawford.
Player of the game from Friday night’s win against Germany, Madison Brinklow, is looking forward to helping her team towards a win; as she takes her place in front of the net.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be one hell of a game,” said Brinklow.
A big inspiration for team Canada over the course of the tournament has been the fans in Belleville. Brinklow said that in Friday’s game, it was great motivation to have the city in their corner.
“It’s crazy adrenaline,” said Brinklow, “hearing the fans cheering gave us nothing but excitement, more energy and we just fed off them.”
At 8:17 of the first period, Canada got things rolling with a goal by Kathryn Kennedy, making it 1-0. Alexa Hoskin would follow it up at 12:05 to make it 2-0. At 16:06, Canada’s Emily Lange passed the ball over to Kennedy who one timed it into the top corner for her second of the night, making it 3-0. One minute later Kennedy earned her first hat trick of the evening, making it 4-0. 33 seconds later, Canada once again was celebrating after their fifth goal of the period.
At 34 seconds into the second period, Kennedy scored her fourth of the night and 11th of the tournament. At 6:18 Holly Ann Heuberger earned her first goal of the tournament, making it 7-0 for Canada. After 27 minutes of play, team U.S.A finally managed to get on the board with a goal by Adelia Pennisi. Canada would ring the bell again at the 10 minute mark with a goal from Christina DeFranco. The second period would end 8-1 for Canada.
With Canada so far ahead in the game, it was the first time in the tournament that the Yardmen arena was actually quiet, despite 1,921 fans in the famous green seats. Though another strong showing had turned out for the game, the one sided affair kept most fans quiet in general.
Period three would fair no better for team U.S.A, as their defense could simply not keep up with the fast pace that team Canada brought to their net. At 4:44 team Canada potted their ninth of the game when Kimberley Gibson caught a rebound and found the back of the American net making it 9-1.
Despite a late period goal at 14:30 by Andrea Kostal for team America making it 9-2, the U.S were unable to control the ball for any length of time. Team Canada would score their 10th of the game at 17:24 with a goal by Alexa Hoskin. Throughout the tournament thus far, experts within the hallway were talking about Hoskin, with many whispers hailing her as the next Hayley Wickenheiser. When asked about her thoughts on the remark, Hoskin was blown away.
“I had no idea people thought about me that way,” said Hoskin
Although the U.S would get one more goal in before the buzzer, Canada would cruise to an easy win, ending the game at 10-3.
Earlier in the day, Germany won their semifinal match against Hungary. This means that once again, team Canada and team Germany will face off at the centre IFF logo inside the Yardmen at 12:10 pm Sunday, only this time it will be for B division gold.
Players of the game: