Friday was the first day of Floorball competition at The World Games 2022. 

Sweden v Latvia

Sweden and Latvia kicked off the 2022 World Games floorball tournament in Birmingham, Alabama with a very tight, back and forth affair. The match finished 6-6 with both Sweden and Latvia taking the lead multiple times throughout the contest with neither team able to push out a significant advantage. Latvia were playing deep throughout the match looking to hit Sweden on sharp, quick, counter attacks which they did on multiple occasions. Whilst Sweden had the majority of the shots and possession they could not break through the Latvian blocks and goalkeeper enough times to keep a lead. Even with the shorter game format of 3×15 minute periods both sets of players were considerably tired at the end of the match with a lot of energy and effort put in.

— I’m proud of my team and what we were doing here, pretty cool to open the tournament, said Rolands Kovalevskis in the post-match interview.

Match statistics available here.

Finland v Canada

Finland kicked off their World Games tournament against a Canadian team with a mix of youth and experience. Canada could not deal with the wealth of talent on the Finnish roster and succumbed to a 18-0 defeat. Finland were in control throughout the match dictating the speed and pace of the game with long spells of possession looking for openings in the Canadian defence to pass and shoot through. Canada tried to break on the counter attack and had a couple of opportunities but were stopped by the Finnish goalies (who both played). Canada whilst disappointed will look to try and bounce back against hosts USA in the battle of North America on day 2. Finland will look to continue their winning start with a tough matchup against the Czech Republic.

Match statistics available here.

Switzerland v Thailand

This was the first time these teams met at the internationaal level. Switzerland started the scoring, quite as expected and took a 4-0 lead in the first period. Thailand did not give up but got two goals in the second period when first the team captain Pawat Thaidit and then Aphichet Ratanaprathum succeeded. One more goal for Team Thailand in the final period but it was not enough as Switzerland had been more efficient in their offensive play. Patrick Mendelin was awarded the player of the match after finishing a hat-trick. Thailand will face another tough opponent, when they start their second day with a game against Sweden. Switzerland will need to keep their game-face on against Latvia.

Match statistics available here.

Czech Republic v USA

Floorball opening ceremony was held just before the last game of the day. It was a solid performance from Czech Republic, who could play their own game and control the ball how they wanted. For the majority of Czech players, this is the first World Games event and since their team is very young, they could try new things and variations against USA. Something that might help them later in the competition. Josef Rypar scored a hat-trick and got the best player award. US goalie Keven Glanzmann was the player of the match from with 35 saves. Final score 13-1 for the Czechs.

Match statistics available here.

Find all match replays, highlights and interviews from IFF Youtube Channel 1.

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