On April 10th, the Beijing Ducks Floorball team were hosts to the yearly Chinese Floorball Championship Tournament, and it is safe to say that both the quality of play and the quality arrangements were the best ever seen on Chinese ground. The Olympic catchwords, “the best games ever”, seem to still apply in Beijing – By Oskar Helling, Shanghai.
The games were kicked-off at nine o’clock on Saturday morning with a bout in the A-Group between the Shanghai Sharks and the Hong Kong Fashion Boys. It was obvious that both of these semifinalists-to-be were feeling each other out and perhaps still tired from their late night flights.
Hong Kong took the lead which was quickly equalized by the tournament’s only female player, Starry Xie from the Shanghai Sharks. Eventually the Sharks took charge of the game and took it home by 3 to 1.
It was obvious that the newcomer Hong Kong was still a bit lost in the new surroundings. That was, however, to change later during the day.
The second game of the day was between Hakkapeliitat Shanghai and the Guangzhou Taipans. In this game Hakkapeliitat let the rest of the crowd know that they had come to Beijing to fight for the gold. Hakkapeliitat 6, Taipans 1.
The tournament continued; Team Canada, Beijing Ducks, Hong Kong and the Shanghai Sharks settled their scores in Group A until the semifinalists were clear: The Shanghai Sharks and the Hong Kong Fashion Boys.
In Group-B both SSV Suzhou and Hakkapeliitat Shanghai dominated and clenched the spots in the semis before the Guangzhou Taipans and the Beijing Swedes.
In the first semi-final SSV Suzhou and the Shanghai Sharks played evenly. SSV twice took the lead; however the Sharks gathered themselves and finally rolled into the final. In the other semi Hong Kong and Hakkapeliitat fought a hair-raising battle. Hong Kong took an early lead which Hakkapeliitat managed to even out a little bit later. It was not until only 15 seconds before the buzzer that the Hakkapeliitat captain, Peter Zeitlin, managed to lose his persistent “shadows” and put in a decisive shot to take Hakkapeliitat to the Final. Only a minute earlier had Hong Kong had a very near chance to score and with all likelihood clench the spot in the final.
Bronze to Hong Kong team
After a couple of games determining places five to eight, SSV Suzhou and Hong Kong stepped into the rink to fight for the bronze medal.
The game was very even, however towards the end Hong Kong managed to take the advantage. During the last minute of playing time Suzhou took out their goalie and bravely fought with six players on the field, however in vain. Bronze medal: Hong Kong Fashion Boys FC.
Sudden death goal settled the Final
The tournament trophy was already going “home” to Shanghai; however the exact postal-code was still to be determined. The Sharks took the lead which was soon equalized. The Sharks took the lead yet another time which was again equalized, this time by the youngest and one of the most effective players in the tournament, Jyri Koppanen of 18 years. As the regulation time drew to a close the bout got really intense. Within the last 60 seconds both teams had very near misses and excellent saves. It was obvious that the bout could go either way.
Into overtime we go. Now the wear and tear of 8 hours of play during the day started to show clearly on both teams. The sweaty battle continued until the Sharks were awarded a free hit from the left side of the field. Defenders were lined up to cover the direct shooting lines. However with a short pass the ball was moved sideways to one of the Shanghai Sharks’ key players, Oskar Fernö, who found a small gap in the wall and put the ball straight up in the right hand corner of the goal. The 2010 Chinese Floorball Championship goes by a Sudden Death goal to the Shanghai Sharks.
2011 Championships to be played in Hong Kong
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player trophy was awarded to Hakkapeliitat captain Peter Zeitlin who, together with his right wing Jyri Koppanen, was the architect of some 14 of the teams 18 goals.
The Beijing championships were brilliantly arranged and hosted by the Beijing Ducks Floorball team and its captain Teppo Helles. The captain’s meeting at the tournament dinner agreed that the next year’s championships will be held in Hong Kong sometime in the spring.
More information about Floorball in China: www.chinafloorball.com
China Floorball Championships 2010 – Final results:
- Shanghai Sharks
- Hakkapeliitat Shanghai
- Hong Kong Fashion Boys FC
- SSV Suzhou
- Team Sweden Beijing
- Beijing Ducks
- Team Canada Guangzhou
- Guangzhou Taipans
Top scorers 2010:
- SH Hakkapeliitat Zeitlin Peter 9+2= 11
- HK Fashion Boys FC Haitink Robert 6+2= 8
- SH Hakkapeliitat Koppanen Jyri 5+2= 7
- GZ Team Canada Ranni Shaun 6 +0= 6
- Shanghai Sharks Ferno Oskar 4+2= 6
- Shanghai Sharks Wallion David 4+2= 6
Text: Oskar Helling/Shanghai