To think that there’s only about a week left of this season. At least for the SSL-teams. SM-finals in Globen 22 April. Except for getting to see two hot games, the event is so much more. Many activities around it and a big part of floorball-Sweden (and from other countries) are there. A people fest simply!
For this weekend doesn’t only mean floorball-hangouts. There will be work during five hours of live broadcasting with SVT during the Saturday. As I have written before, a fantastic opportunity as well as nervous, intense and fun. The preparations have started and are intensified this weekend and in the week Since no team neither on the women’s nor men’s side is final ready yet – I closely follow eight teams right now. I am thankful for all texts and podcasts that revolve around the playoffs. Not to mention the web broadcasts.
Unfortunately there was some technical difficulty last time when Täby and Kais Mora met. Of course really bad when it happens in a SM-semifinal. I have e-mailed Spotsground about if the game can be seen afterwards, I have no big hopes of it but worth a try at least.
I at least got to see that Anna Wijk played center between Tess Karlsson and Johanna Holmbom, and no markings of Wijk. No Amanda Wall from start who is still sick or injured. Malin Lundqvist was back on the defender position again. Mira Wickman played together with Michelle Wiki and Petra Weiss if I saw correctly. Matilda Sjödin (cruciate ligament), long time injured Ranja Varli, pregnant Jenny Gustafsson still not playing.
The national team goalie Emelie Frisk watched the game from the side since Alexandra Durling got the chance again. I am not surprised if she also starts in the next game. I blogged last time about Täby’s coach Lars Jedheim should put together the best he has, and yes, Sara Attermo took a spot next to Jennifer Stålhult and Louise Wickström. Last time Jedheim chose to bench the first five in the second half of the game. They didn’t perform and probably needed some discipline, good coaching. I don’t know if it was that that made the girls raise themselves, but the first five really did – I had time to see that. Except for the first goal which was made by Therese Andersson, again a great shot (she scored two in the first game), the first formation’s players stood for the rest of the goals in the winning game 5-3. Three assist by Moa Tschöp and three goals by Jennifer Stålhult. The national team players finally stepped forward, necessary for Täby.
In Mora it is notable that Anna Wijk once again didn’t get any points, for the second game in a row. On the other hand, if we would have had second assist, Wijk would have gotten more points. Roger Jonsson & Co need to get her going better. I can’t say more about this game since I didn’t see it all. It will be super interesting on Thursday!
Happily enough TV4Sport showed the third game between IKSU and Pixbo. Many believed in another IKSU-win, 3-0 in games and therefore a finals ready IKSU. But Pixbo rose above compared to the last game. Not because they have played bad, there I agree with coach Jonas Eliasson. But the energy was a bit too low last time and the goal shooting hasn’t worked. Chances has been created, the sharpness hasn’t been there. But it was in this game.
Eliasson himself was back in the booth and fired on the players, it translated through the tv-screen. That enthusiasm! He was a bit hoarse in the tv-interviews.
Pixbo felt more aggressive than in the two earlier games, possibly that the tip was pushing higher up and that the middle players followed. IKSU weren’t allowed to bring in the ball and turn up as simply as partly before. It banged straight away and it was at times tough play, absolutely not over the border but playoffs floorball as it should be. Pixbo lead with 3-1 but IKSU caught up to 3-3, there I didn’t think that Pixbo would make it nether physically or mentally – but yes. The third period was really worth seeing, a lot of fight and will on the field. Pixbo took the lead again but shortly thereafter IKSU evened out once again. IKSU were never in the lead during the game, a unusual situation for the team that has crushed most things during the series and turned Malmö away pretty simply in the quarters. Maybe here with the answer in hand, that wasn’t the best quarterfinal choice.
With about four minutes left to play of the third period, Pixbo got a free shot straight in front of the IKSU-goal. I have missed variations on free shots and powerplay in both he women’s and the men’s playoffs. Here we finally got to see one, simple but effective variation where the ball really only went sideways to the team captain Ida Sundberg who pushed in the deciding goal to 5-4. The wall was passive, the players drifted apart instead of one rushing to where the ball was. In the period pause Sundberg was interviewed ”we will win” she said and so it was. Believable and important talks from a team captain.
I am wondering if IKSU has too many skilled players? When a national team player like Sofia Joelsson doesn’t have room in three fives. She hasn’t really been herself in the quarterfinals, but got her revenge in this game when she got to start. Two important goals from her stick. When Joelsson got interviewed, she humbly confirmed ”you have to take the chance when you get it since we have so many good players”. True. In this game Johanna Hultgren got to start at the bench, she also national team merited. I would have chosen to start with her, that shot is useful. I think that the competition is almost too big. IKSU have so many sharp players, so who really steps forward when it is needed? Nice problems for the leadership.
A total of 2 436 people in place in Umeå! Admittedly free entrance, but what a pressure it was in the hall. Completely right by IKSU to move the game to a bigger arena. Engagement on the bleachers and also on both teams’ benches. The subs stood up the whole game and cheered on their teammates. So incredibly important that everyone accepts their roles and put their personal disappointment aside. You know, the classical team before me.
I still want to lift out some players in the teams. Of course the goalies Malin Marklund and Sara Hjorting, world class, also all eight defenders are really good. In IKSU I think that Nina Bärtschi was alert, nice technique. Frida Norström was one of the best on the field, while I expect more of Emelie Wibron. She is absolutely not bad, but I have high expectations on this top player. Pixbo’s Linda Andersson is a breath of fresh air, lots of energy and a fast player. Cecilia Habib Westh got the role as unloader, but I would let her start. Elissa Krupnova has grown to be a favorite player, she has a nice playing mind and good width. Scores many important goals. Yes, there are many there to rise up but I am satisfied there.
Weill see who steps forward on Friday. 2-1 in games for IKS and who really has the pressure on them? The ones who are expected to win (IKSU) or the ones who have to win (Pixbo)? Anyway it’s more rule than exception that the teams put pressur eon each other in media. You can twist and turn this almost to eternity. May the best team win!