Written by: Michael Mitchell, Jessica Klein and Martin Durkin
Japan closes out First U19 WFC impressively with a 15-0 win over Austria. A relentless attack was too much for the Austrians in the final game. Japan started with strong offensive right out of the gate and ended the first period 5-0. Japan continued to carry the play in the second period, scoring five more times. Five more goals in the final period completed the rout. Austria had a couple of close calls late in the session but couldn’t convert.
Hungary and USA met to battle for 11th place in the Championship. Hungary opened the scoring in the first period with a goal by Dora Nyerges, just 28 seconds into the game. For the next 14 minutes, it would be all Hungary as American goaltender Anna Van Hercke, made edge of your seat stops; time and time again. Hungary managed to get one more, ending the period 2-0. During the second period Hungary waltzed over the U.S scoring six unanswered goals. At the end of 40 minutes of play, it was clear that the Hungarian team was on their way to an 11th place win. At the end of three periods of play, the game would end 13-0 for Hungary.
Germany edges Canada 6-5 in another thriller, winning the B-Division Final. Hannah Gotze’s goal with 30 seconds left in regulation sent the Germans to the A Division. Canada’s Hannah Wilson started the scoring, drilling a shot from medium-range off a loose-ball exchange in the mid-court. Just a minute later, Shania Anderson tipped in a point shot, and Canada had a quick two-goal lead. Just under seven minutes later, the Germans cut the lead in half. The Germans pressed late in the period but Brinklow was solid between the pipes. The Germans squared things early in the second period, then shortly after took the lead. The Canadians tied things up on a power play. With an strong offensive push the Germans took a 5-3 lead into the third period.
Plenty of neutral-zone play to start the third session. Then, the tide turned. Canada scored two goals in 22 seconds and the game was tied yet again, with less than three minutes on the clock. With 30 seconds left, Hannah Gotze managed to wiggle into the clear on the left post and the ball trickled in past Brinklow for the go-ahead goal. Canada tried a last-minute blitz but the Germans shut the door for good.
Switzerland tops Czech Republic 3-2, Claims Third Place. As expected, the Bronze Medal game was a classic, decided mid-way through the final period. Switzerland’s Milena Mahler and the Czech Republic’s Eva Pistekova traded goals in the first five minutes. The rest of the period had some close calls but no clear scoring chances. The game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes. Switzerland broke through in the second period when Lea Hofmann connected. The rest of the period, again, tightly-contested with strong neutral-zone containment and a shortage of clear shooting lanes.
The Czech Republic tied the game early in the third period. The Czechs were charged with a penalty in the 11th minute, and the Swiss wasted no time reclaiming the lead, 3-2. Switzerland (3rd) and the Czech Republic (4th) switch places at the close of the 2016 event following a classic, hard-fought match.
Sweden completes another Championship run, 6-3 over Finland. In a rematch of the 2014 U19 WFC, the Swedes were too much for the Finns. Sweden exhibited exceptional ball control and pinpoint passing skills in the opening 10 minutes, and scored the game’s first two goals. But something happened that hadn’t happened in this tournament – Sweden surrendered a goal against. Two, in fact. The period ended in the tie. The classic Swedish passing and superb offense kept them in control in the second period. After 40 minutes the Swedes were in the lead, 5-2.
The pace continued to be high-octane in the third period, and Sweden increased its lead to four goals, early in the period. Finland cut into the 6-2 lead 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.