One more weekend…
… of action until the teams go on a break for about 3 weeks. This partially due to the fact that there are a number of players involved in the German National Team committed to play in the World Championships qualification tournament in Latvia in two weeks time.
Last weekend there were now 6 teams in action in pursuit of the coveted position in the Final4 tournament in Berlin. 6 teams?? I am glad you asked….as explained before, Berlin Rockets get an automated position in the final-tournament as hosts so there were only 3 more positions to compete for. We can argue about the fairness of such a system ’til the cows come home, but won’t change anything for this year. I have, however, heard a rumor that this might be the last year where the hosts get in in the action without having to compete for it. Once I hear something more official about it, you’ll be the first to know.
So….what about those 6 teams? Who made it in the end? Tell us already! Inquiring minds want to know! Fine…here goes
MFBC Leipzig – ETV Piranhhas Hamburg 12:6
As much as Piranhhas want to turn things around for their team, they were certainly not about to do it at the expense of Leipzig. The game had not even passed the halfway mark of the first period as they were up by 5. Come second, not many seemed to change as the hometeam-march continued on. The 5 goals by the visitors did not seem to matter much as Leipzig matched them with 5 of their own. The last period, in the end, did not bring the relief Hamburg was perhaps looking for as Leipzig added 2 to their saldo against the one by Hamburg. 12-6 victory for the favorites was perhaps expected by all apart from the most dedicated Piranhhas fans.
DJK Holzbüttgen – VfL Red Hocks Kaufering 10:5
Some might have thought this game was a foregone conclusion as well. If one simply looks at the league-tables, that is what one might conclude. However, looking into it a little deeper raises already some questions. Where Kaufering has found it difficult to put together 60 cohesive minutes, they have at the same time already met most of the top-runners in away-games. At the same time, they have lost most of the games, however never really by much. So much pay-back is to be expected and I would not be surprised if they will be able to put up some kind of comeback….enough for a play-off position…doubt it but I would be glad if they proved me wrong.
The game itself was forced to be played in the practice-hall of DJK due to scheduling conflicts with other sports. In the end, this did not change much other than spectators being forced up to the balcony as the hall had no seating at the floor level.
In the game, there was certainly “no prisoners” -attitude prevalent throughout the game with a physical battle taking place time after time. As the referees tried to keep control of the game it certainly frustrated players on both sides.
Kaufering, dedicated to turning their difficult season around, managed a better start as they opened the scoring with a Powerplay-goal some 3 minutes in the game. Even if DJK managed to equalize quickly, it was still Kaufering on the driving seat as they took the lead again at the 6min mark. As the first period arrived in the middle, it was DJK that drew the ire of the referees and managed 2 penalties within 6 seconds of each other. The 3-man team went into work and successfully defended their goal for the complete duration of the penalties. Add a couple of minutes and it was Kaufering turn in the sin-bin….DJK took advantage of this as Torben Kleinhans punished Kaufering with a PP-goal of his own.
It was still a penalty to each team before Kaufering took the lead once more with some 23sec left on the clock.
The second period seemed to be the same mayhem as before, however, it was the host-team that was able to get on board. With 3 goals and 4 penalties (with another 2min on 5-3 as the coach Backman managed to score 2min of his own for complaining) against DJK, the team certainly got their share of practice playing shorthand. Kaufering was however not able to use it to their advantage as the only mark they managed on the sheets was a 2min penalty of their own.
The last period started with a 5-3 advantage for DJK. This is as close as Kaufering ever got. With exchange of some goals on both sides, it was the DJK that secured their place in Final4 with 10-5 victory. The 18minutes in penalties they got in the process is definitely something that needs to be looked into in the following weeks.
Lumberjacks Rohrdorf – Floor Fighters Chemnitz 3:15
I like a fairytale with a happy ending as much as the next person, but unfortunately, it was not to be. The “team most improved” in the Bundesliga against the ambitious Regionalliga Team. The 108-strong audience in Rohdorf was witnessing the strong Chemnitz-team running away with the last place in Berlin. Juho Kivinen continued his league-leading form also in the cup-competition by netting 5 goals together with his 4 assists.
So the final4 has been decided. Berlin will play host to Leipzig, Chemnitz and Holzbüttgen. These teams, currently 2,3 and 4th in the 1st Bundesliga respectively will battle it out on 21.-22.3.2020 in the Max Schmeling-Halle in front of thousands(???) of spectators. This tournament is something special. Having been there once with our DJK some years ago as we upset some as ambitious 2nd Bundesliga Team.
However, this tournament is about so much more as well. Not only are there the 4 teams in the men’s competition battling it out, but the best 4 women’s teams as well. Add to that seminars for sport-teachers so they can add floorball to their curriculum, free access to the games for local area kids, a junior-tournament as well as a “masterclass” for players on the field as well as goalies between 12 and 17. This last being led by Daniel Calebsson (Sweden), Mathis Wittneben (Ger), Tomas Kafka(Cze) and Pavel Lubentsov (Ger).
So, all in all, we’re in for a treat here, be it the players, the juniors or the fans. Head over to the Final4 website and secure yourself some tickets and come see the action. I, personally will first concentrate on the couple of rounds of the regular league before the Final4 takes place. Apparently I have to go and knock some heads together in my team so they learn to stay off the penalty-box!
Kimmo Vallema blogs about his floorball experiences in Germany. Want to know more about him? Click here to read his introduction article.