Written by: Michael Mitchell
In a rematch of the 2014 U19 WFC, the Swedes were too much for the Finns.
As it should have been, the 2016 U19 WFC in Belleville, ON CA featured the top-ranked women’s teams in the world of floorball – #1 Sweden and #2 Finland.
The Swedes returned to the top of the U19 floorball world in 2014 in Poland, beating the champion Finns 6-4 in the final. Their intent was to stay at the top.
Sweden exhibited exceptional ball control and pinpoint passing skills in the opening 10 minutes, and scored the game’s first two goals, by Felicia Forsmark (before the game was a minute old) and Frida Ahlstrand. But something happened that hadn’t happened in this tournament – Sweden surrendered a goal against. Two, in fact. At 13:36, Finland’s Milla Nordlund found herself clear in the slot and drilled it past Swedish goaltender Lovisa Hedin, 2-1. Three minutes later, the Swedes were hit with a major penalty for a high stick, and the Finns capitalized to tie the game, 2-2. Ellinora Huotari converted on a goal mouth scramble. The period ended in the tie, but the Finns had to be feeling pretty good about putting two goals on the board.
Sweden killed off the rest of the major penalty to start the second period, avoiding further damage. The Swedes then completed a superb pass-and-tip play at 4:02, Ahlstrand feeding Marie Segerholm perfectly for the tip and score, 3-2. The lead could have been extended a few times but Finnish goaltender Teea Lehikoinen was stellar. However, Sweden found the back of the mesh again at 11:26, Forsmark’s second of the game, point-blank, 4-2. Perhaps, the back-breaker, Lina’s Svarfvar’s goal from the centre-slot at 19:38 gave the Swedes their biggest lead of the game, 5-2, heading into the intermission.
The pace continued to be high-octane in the third period, and Sweden increased its lead to four goals when Svarfvar scored her second of the game at 7:41, Ahlstrand with her second assist. Finland cut into the 6-2 lead when Oona Kauppi connected at the 12-minute mark. The Finns would need a furious-paced rally to have a chance at least to tie. They pulled the goalie for most of the final four minutes but couldn’t score.
Sweden, with a 6-3 win against Finland, remains the best in the world in women’s U19 floorball.
Players of the Game:
Sweden – Felicia Forsmark
Finland – Ellinora Huotari