Finland Beats Sweden 6:3 to Defend World Champions Title – 09.12.2018

The Finns won the gold medal game 6-3 and defended the title of world champions! Finland is the world’s best floorball country for the fourth time in history and the O2 Arena in Prague seems to be their favorite place as they won their first World Championship gold medals here back in 2008. Peter Kotilainen and Juha Kivilehto scored twice for Finland in the final. Today’s Latvian referees Mārtiņš Gross and Mārtiņš Larinovs also officiated the final two years ago in Riga.

The final match of the WFC in Prague started surprisingly unwell for the yet unbeaten Swedish team. Even though the Tre Kronor had the first chance of the match after a breakaway by Albin Sjögren, it was their lack of defensive aggressiveness that resulted in their conceded goal. With 3:30 on the clock, Juha Kivilehto punished the mistake of the Swedish goalkeeper Johan Rehm and rolled the ball over his shoulder into the net.

Sweden then survived the two-minute penalty kill after Rasmus Enström’s foul. After the careful beginning of the match, both teams really started stirring the fans’ blood. Sweden and Finland could both score at least one extra goal, but the score remained 1-0 for Finland after the 1st period.

The Finns continued in big fashion even after the first break. At 23:57, Peter Kotilainen’s powerful finish after Ville Lastikka’s great pass made it 2-0 for Finland. The Finnish players were really strong in defense and made it very hard for Sweden to get into pressure. And when the Swedes found the way through the Finnish defensive wall, there was still Eero Kosonen in the net.

But in the 28th minute, Peter Kotilainen received a 2-minute penalty for an incorrect hit and Sweden used the power play to cut the gap. Emil Johansson passed the ball from behind the net to Alexander Galante Carlström, Sweden’s scoring leader, who scored with a great one-timer. After Eero Kosonen’s two spectacular saves in the 36th minute, the score after forty minutes remained 2-1 for Finland.

The Finns, however, didn’t start the third period well. At 42:41, Eero Kosonen made his only mistake of the match when he couldn’t stop Alexander Rudd’s backhand shot and the game was tied at 2-2. But then came the decisive three-minute spell, during which Finland scored three goals. Juha Kivilehto successfully finished a spectacular combination in the 47th minute and added his second goal of the game to put Finland one goal ahead again. Two minutes later, Peter Kotilainen fired a shot from the center of the rink and doubled the Finnish lead, also adding his second of the day.

And that still wasn’t everything from the Finns as Nico Salo sent a perfectly accurate shot straight to the top left corner of Rehn’s goal to increase the Finnish lead to three goals. In the 55th minute, Sweden pulled their goalie and tried to come back into the match with six players. Alexander Rudd provided a glimmer of hope after scoring from a penalty shot in the 56th minute, adding his second of the match, but in the 59th minute it was him who was dispossessed Eemeli Salin and Sami Johansson secured the Finnish triumph with an empty-netter.