Just before the final weekend we look back at a vivid tournament, full of awesome moments making this whole WFC just epic. Actually, the best is yet to come.
The expectations couldn’t have been lower, but Thailand’s sensational qualification was obviously just the beginning. Two tight group losses kept the Asians out of the playoffs. But they didn’t only crush Singapore 8:2, in their first placement match they even beat Australia with a last minute goal 4:3. Against Poland (though leading 4:3) they fell short 4:5. Furthermore forward Pawat Thaidit (on the roster of his swedish team Malmhaug called Robin Carlsson) belongs to the top scorers of the tournament so far (8 goals and 3 assists).
Ibold’s dream goal
There were plenty of WTF moments in this tournament, but this one was the mother of all of them. First Germany lost its 5:2 lead against the US, 5:5 just before the end. Last minute, defender Ramon Ibold paces along the left rink side, last seconds, he pulls of a back hand shot and scores top shelf. WTF.
Attendance record right away
There were some reasonable doubts if Latvia can fill floorball halls with people over the length of a full WFC. But they did even more than that. 8.011 spectators at an opening day match was a new historic best. And over all days following the rows are filled up more than well, also thanks to schools, motivated not only to be seen, but to be heard, too.
Hofbauer, the honest
With his two points against Finland Matthias Hofbauer would have passed legendary Willy Fauskanger in the all-time WFC scorer rankings. But after the match Hofbauer informed the IFF, that these points actually weren’t his. However, it took the quarter-final game against Norway and history was made anyways. Hofbauer scored the 1:0, assisted to Engels 4:0 and took his more then deserved lead.
USA heading to World Games
The playoff loss to Germany might have be painful, but the team USA managed to finish as the best non-european equipe – a result qualifying for the World Games 2017. To do so the US had to beat Canada in their placement match. It took a nail-biting thriller with a curious result of 1:0, thanks to a shot-out by keeper Terence Frank and a third period game-winner by Alexander McVey.
Where is Kronberg?
More a fun fact than a reason to celebrate. Fans wondered where Norway’s coaches have left their superstar Ketil Kronberg. It turned out he was awaiting the birth of his second child. Unfortunately little Kronberg was not in a hurry, so daddy Ketil joined his team pretty late… not earlier than in Norway’s 2:7 quarter-final loss against Switzerland.
In its match against Germany the Estonian team (supported by a loud crowd) managed to come up with an amazing comeback. Kuch scored in the 51st minute to give Germany a comfortable 6:3 lead. A few minutes later Tamme failed on a penalty shot and the winner seemed to be set. But five minutes before the end Rein Kivi scored in powerplay, Estonia took the goalie out, Kareliusson for 6:5 and one minute before the end Woiduma lifted in the equalizer.
We’ve seen plenty of amazing goals and plenty of amazing saves, too. However, somehow you don’t get rid of the feeling, that it’s not really a goalie tournament. A lot of balls bounce in from mislead keeper’s body parts and very often allegedly easy shots end up in the net. But who minds seeing more goals? So keep up the good work fellows.
Trolle’s magic stop
Having said that, in its playoff match against Latvia Denmark’s 2014 all-star goalie Mike Trolle showed an overtime save from another planet. Rajeckis pulled off a one-timer from the slot, Trolle blocked the ball, but it still ended up behind his back, bouncing on the goal line. Trolle made a fast twist, scratched the ball off the line and even stopped a rebound. Denmark sensationally beat the home team after penalty shots and advanced into the quarter-finals.