Final Day of WFC: Gold Goes to Finland, Silver to Sweden, Switzerland Takes Bronze, Czechs Again without Medal – 09.12.2018

It’s over. The final match day of the World Championship in Prague resolved, who got the three sets of medals.. The Czechs focused all their hopes on the bronze medal match at the O2 Arena, but the team coached by Petri Kettunen lost to Switzerland 2-4. The final match was attended by 16,276 fans, which is a new record attendance at a single floorball match. The overall attendance reached an incredible number – 181,518 spectators. The Finns decided about their gold medals in the third period. In this Scandinavian battle they paid Sweden back for the group-stage loss and triumphed 6-3. A 5th and 7th place matches took place before the actual medal battles. In the last match at the Arena Sparta, Norway beat Denmark and finished in the 7th position, while Latvia ends in the 5th place after paying Germany back for the group-stage defeat and beating their opponents 5-3 at the O2 Arena.

Denmark – Norway 5-9 (1-4, 3-3, 1-2)

The Arena Sparta hosted its last match of the championship. And the game between Denmark and Norway couldn’t have been a better closing match. The Scandinavian duel offered a great offensive spectacle rich in goals, in which the Norwegians had the upper hand. They built a two- to three-goal lead, which they kept during the game. The Danes were continuously trying to reduce the gap, but late in the match they paid for their risky game and the Norwegians secured their 9-5 win with two more goals. The Danish captain Mikkel Skov Nielsen scored a hat-trick in the match.

Germany – Latvia 3-5 (0-2, 2-2, 1-1)

Already at 10 o’clock, the fans at the O2 Arena could watch the 5th place match between Germany and Latvia. Unlike in the group stage, this time the Latvians overcame their German opponents and paid them back for the slightly surprising loss from a few days ago. Rolands Kovalevskis and Toms Akmenlauks both scored twice and significantly contributed to their team’s 5-3 victory.

Czech Republic – Switzerland 2-4 (1-2, 1-1, 0-1)

A replay of the bronze medal match from the previous championship again came out better for Switzerland. The Swiss players wanted to pay the Czechs back for the group-stage loss 4-6 and they succeeded. What helped the most was their great scoring efficiency, which is something the home team really struggled with. The Czechs had the upper hand in the game in front of the fantastic crowd at the O2 Arena, but the 16,112 fans saw an impressive show by the Swiss goalie Pascal Meier. Petri Kettunen’s players managed to tie the score at 2-2 in the second period, but from then onwards only the Swiss opponents managed to score. They added two more accurate shots that found their way behind Lukáš Souček and beat the home team 4-2. Especially Tim Braillard’s goal in the last minute of the second period was a heavy blow for the home team. Later on it emerged to be a game-winning goal that brought bronze medals to Switzerland.

Finland – Sweden 6-3 (1-0, 1-1, 4-2)

The final game of the championship offered a thrilling spectacle worthy of the importance of the match. Finland went into the lead in the 4th minute thanks to Juha Kivilehto, who later became one of the heroes of the match. The Swedes then killed a penalty after Rasmus Enström’s foul and began attacking. But it was Peter Kotilainen, who punished a mistake in Swedish defense and doubled his team’s lead in the 24th minute. Sweden replie four minutes later with Alexander Galante Carlström’s shot that got past Eero Kosonen, who had been excellent so far. The blue-and-yellow players then managed to level the score with Alexander Rudd’s wonderful backhand shot. But the Finns could rely on the great duo Kivilehto – Kotilainen. While the former put Finland ahead again in the 47th minute, the latter increased the lead with a rocket from almost the half-line just two minutes later.. When Nico Salo added the fifth Finnish goal in the 50th minute, the match was basically decided. Four minutes before the end of regulation Alexander Rudd’s converted penalty shot provided a glimmer of hope for the Swedes, but that was their last achievement in the final. At 58:11 the Finns closed the score with Sami Johansson’s empty-netter, won 6-3 and defended their world champions title from Latvia from 2016. The 16,276 amazing fans helped break all imaginable records – not only the single-match attendance record, but also the overall attendance record of the entire championship. The overall attendance for the entire championship is 181,518 spectators.