In a close race, it was Sweden who reached the finish line first securing a ticket to the finals of the WFC2019 despite all of Finland’s efforts to turn around the 5-4 Swedish lead in the final minutes.
Start of the game
Sweden took the lead in a nerve-wracking, tight first period. Sweden didn’t have the start they were probably aiming at as Finland protected their goal area with determination and dedication. The first big chance was for Finland when they received a powerplay situation but they were unable to jumpstart the match with an early lead. Instead, it was Sweden that continued their attacks and found the net once by the stick of Emelie Wibron who scored the only goal this period.
The game erupted in the second period. First, it was Stephanie Boberg who scored with a well-hidden drag shot surprising Finnish goalkeeper Tiltu Siltanen. Finland’s first goal followed soon after with My Kippilä scoring in a powerplay goal. The well-placed slapshot surprised her club teammate Amanda Hill – they both play for the Swedish KAIS Mora. Sweden scored the 3-1 halfway the match and it was Moa Gustafsson who placed it in the net in an eye-on-eye with the Siltanen after Finland lost the ball while the Finnish defenders were changing. What followed were two quick Finnish goals, first by Jenna Saario who tested out the Swedish goalkeeper and was probably quite surprised when she saw her shot be converted into a goal. Just seconds later, Oona Kauppi scored the equalizer after a devastating cross pass by My Kippila. By the end of the period, Sweden managed to take the lead again when Amanda Delgado Johansson scored in a 6vs5 situation during a delayed penalty.
Spectators were promised a very close final period and this turned out to be the case indeed. With ten minutes left on the clock, it was Oona Kauppi to stand up for Finland and deliver a huger blow in powerplay again assisted by My Kippila. However, a moment of miscommunication in the Finnish defense allowed a couple of meters of free space to Emelie Wibron in the center area of the field and she showed her true class. The 5-4 was on her name and with 6 minutes of play left, the goal was likely to be the decider. Finland took everything they had to the battlefield and played a 6vs5 for the final minutes but the handful of shots went or wide or over and Sweden could celebrate yet another place in the WFC finals.