It was a two game series that took place at the Toronto Metropolitan University, in Toronto, Canada but it was Canada who dominated both matches over the USA to stamp their ticket to the Men’s World Floorball Championships 2024 in Malmö and The World Games 2025 in Chengdu, China. By doing so they become the first Men’s team to qualify for TWG 2025 joining the Women’s teams from Europe who qualified at the Women’s WFC last December in Singapore.

The two arch rivals in North America are extremely familiar with each other and came into this qualifications weekend with their previous meeting being back in November at the Iceland Invitational, where they both also played against their Icelandic hosts. The matchup between the US and Canada back then was extremely close with Canada taking a 5-4 victory against the USA and winning the invitational event. Heading into this crucial qualification event however the Canadians had on paper an even stronger squad this time around compared to November. Elite forward Valtteri Viitakoski (playing for Nokian KRP in the Finnish F-Liiga) and stickhandling superstar Brandon (Pavel) Barber were just 2 names to make the qualifications list and it was those two forwards who proved to be a thorn in Team USA’s side all weekend.

Game 1 started on a positive note for the Americans as they took the lead only 5:10 into the contest through David Hansen. However from that point on the Canadians took charge replying straight off the corresponding faceoff with a Patrick Mahoney goal before Barber and Viitakoski took over for the Canadians getting 5 points each with Barber gaining 4 goals and Player of the Game in the process in a big opening 11-2 victory over the USA. It was a good game in net for Canadian goalkeeper Krystof Kasha who only let in 2 goals and had a save percentage of over 88% on the day also to frustrate the Americans throughout the game.

Heading into game 2 Canada had a commanding 9 goal advantage and they didn’t look like letting it slip despite a very back and forth opening first period. Canada stormed into a 3 goal lead before USA struck back to tie things up after only 10 minutes. From then on it was all Canada with several players getting their name on the score sheet with 12 different goalscorers in game 2 showing Team Canada’s strength in depth also. USA had a few bright spots with Maximus Blanco putting his name on the scoresheet twice and Game 2 MVP for the Americans, as he again proved himself to be one of the brightest stars on Team USA despite his young age. The game finished 15-5 to the country of the Maple Leaf.

 

Canada once again claimed superiority in the Americas region as the best of the best and as a reward get upcoming trips to Malmö for the 2024 World Championships and Chengdu for The World Games 2025! Congratulations Canada!

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