?> WFC 2008 - World floorball championship 2008 - 5th WFC - Switzerland (Zürich, Kloten)

WFC 2008

Saturday, 08 November 2008 Print E-mail
5th WFC - Switzerland (Zürich, Kloten)
The 2004 World Championship in Switzerland was played for the first time under modified tournament format. Quarterfinals have been cancelled as two best-placed teams after Preliminaries advanced straight to semi-finals. Group A with Czechs as well as defending champions Sweden was attractive mainly due to the battle for the second semi-final spot between the Czech Republic and Norway. Having beaten their opponents 9:4, Czech team made its way through into the playoffs. Victory with the highest difference in score, though, belongs to team Sweden who enjoyed an easy game Germany which ended up with a devastating score 25:0. Despite having experienced similar disaster in the game against Czechs, Germans managed the be-or-not-to-be game against Austria and stay in the elite division.

Games of the home team in the group B were played in great and turbulent atmosphere made by the Swiss crowd. After uncertain performance against Latvia, the Swiss team repaid their fans and achieved a surprising victory over Finland, sending the Scandinavian rivals against each other in the semi-finals. However, a quick whistle was blown on the Swiss quest for the medal sensation as the home team did not make it through the semi-finals against Czechs and later on, it was Finland who destroyed their last medal hope for the bronze. Again, Sweden defended the world throne by beating tournament´s surprise – Czech national team – 6:4 in the final.

Czechs left for the land of chocolate and cheese with a hope for achieving some good results. “This is the first time we can feel some pressure on us to be successful. Over those five years I am with the national team this was the most special training period for us, both in terms of game quality and costs,” said Zdeněk Skružný, national team head coach. Assistant coach David Zlatník set a clear aim for the team: “We are ready to fight for the semi-finals.”

Considering Sweden as a clear favourite of the group, Czechs were expected to fight for the second place with Norway. “Score could have been an important factor after Preliminaries so we put on a motivation poster in the dressing-room. A big twenty – the score we wanted to achieve – has fallen in the end,” says Skružný on the opening-game victory over Germany. In the next game, however, a quick change of strategy towards defense as the Czech team was to face the world champions Sweden. Brave team performance supported by excellent goalie Tomáš Kafka resulted in acceptable three-goal loss. “Paper wins were turned into reality and we focused only on the crucial game against Norway,” Skružný described the games of the preliminary group.

The key game of the tournament which decided about success or failure was even played against one of the least favourite opponents. Luckily, the national team was able to withstand the pressure and won 9:4. “That was the most important game of my career as a coach!” said Skružný with relief. “It was clear to me even during the lunch that players are incredibly motivated and turned on but nobody was down after Norway scored their quick first goal, we tried to encourage each other. It was great team performance. The key to our success were fixed situations and penalty killing as we were able to cover the special powerplay line of Norwegians." The moment of the game was the penalty shot successfully executed by Aleš Zálesný.

The success of the home Swiss in a breath-taking game against Finland sent the winning team into the battle for championship final against the Czech Republic. For the first time in floorball history, the game is broadcasted live on a major sports television channel. Thanks to Eurosport, Czech fans have unique opportunity to watch the milestone battle of their national team for the final – brave and, in the end, victorious.
It was absolutely incredible – one place, one time…Revenge for the medal game loss two years ago at the world championship in Helsinki. Against the same team, in front of their home crowd, the first live TV broadcast on Eurosport thoroughly observed by Czech floorball community and, later in the game, two goals in two minutes…I still don´t really get it, I saw the game-winning goal scored by Dvořák very well from the bench but instead of exulting with joy I just put my hands up and didn´t know what to do,” described Skružný his feelings shortly after the final whistle. Reaching the 5:3 semi-final win, Czechs enjoyed their reward of facing Sweden in the final. Face to face to the floorball titan they resisted heads-up and after tight 4:6 loss they could finally celebrate the historic silver medal.

Swiss coach Sascha Brendler was a new face among the men on the bench. With him, a fresh wind of new and original motivation methods has blown into the Swiss team´s dressing room. “Signs stating 'Go for the medal' could be seen everywhere around the dressing room and even in players´ rooms. He put these signs even onto the mirrors above washbasins! If I tried this with my boys they would think I was getting crazy. As he started with this, players were hiding their heads under the towels laughing at it. But it seems it has started to work over the time. Before the game against Germany all players were given a sheet of paper with just one sentence stating: 'If we cannot beat Germany everyone will call us Idiots of the championship'. The dressing room was covered with one-word expressions like Concentration, Courage, Pursuit. Ahead of the game against the unbeaten Swedes there was a slogan hanging on the wall: 'Nothing is impossible'. On the other day, the dressing room was covered with portraits of Norwegian players with the inscription 'Go Home' in giant bold letters.”

"As the final was over, we went to see the Swedish team for congratulations. They told us: No, congratulation on YOUR success. Finns did the same thing later. They admitted that we had made great progress since the last championship. Our self-confidence was on the rise game by game. We entered the semi-final against Switzerland with the only aim – to beat them. On the other hand, we were well aware of the fact that we were not very successful in our previous matchups. But we did not really think about it. Only after the game we were laughing at ourselves, what kind of fools we were,” said Zdeněk Skružný.     

Complete statistics of 5th WFC 2004, Switzerland:
Zdroj: http://www.floorball.org/default.asp?sivu=5&alasivu=257&kieli=826

Division A, Group 1

Czech Republic

Final rank Group 1:
1. Sweden 8 points
2. Czech Republic 6
3. Norway 4
4. Germany 2
5. Austria 0

Czech Republic - Germany 20 - 1
Austria - Norway 1:17
Germany - Austria 9:2
Sweden - Czech Republic 4:1
Czech Republic - Austria 7:2
Norway - Sweden 4:17
Norway - Czech Republic 4:9
Sweden - Germany 25:0
Germany - Norway 3:18
Austria - Sweden 1:19

Division A, Group 2

Final rank Group 2
1. Switzerland 8
2.Finland 6
3. Latvia 2
4. Russia 2
5. Danmark 2

Switzerland - Latvia 4:3
Russia - Danmark 6:7
Finland - Russia 16:1
Danmark - Switzerland 4:15
Latvia - Finland 2:14
Russia - Switzerland 2:10
Latvia - Russia 3:4
Finland - Danmark 16:0
Danmark - Latvia 3:7
Switzerland - Finland 4:3
Division B, Group 1
Great Britain

Final rank Group 1:
1. Italy 8 points
2. Hungary 6
3. Great Britain 4
4. USA 2
5. Singapore 0

Italy - Singapore 11:0
Hungary - USA 8:3
Great Britain - Hungary 5:8
USA - Italy 2:6
Hungary - Italy 6:15
Singapore - Great Britain 5:7
Great Britain - USA 6:4
Singapore - Hungary 7:15
Italy - Great Britain 9:5
USA - Singapore 7:3
Division B, Group 2

Final rank Group 2:
1. Estonia 6 bodů
2. Netherlands 3
3. Slovenia 3
4. Australia 0

Netherlands - Slovenia 6:6
Austráli - Estonia 1:6
Slovenia - Australia 5:2
Netherlands - Australia 10:5
Estonia - Netherlands 6:3
Slovenia - Estonia 4:5
Final rank Division A:
1. Sweden
2. Czech Republic
3. Finland
4. Switzerland
5. Norway
6. Latvia
7. Russia
8. Germany
9. Danmark
10. Austria
9th place
Austria - Danmark 4:6

7th place
Germany - Russia 5:10

5th place
Norway - Latvia 6:

Sweden - Finland 5:3
Switzerland - Czech Republic 3:5

3rd place
Finland - Switzerland 8:7 (ts)

Sweden - Czech Republic 6:4

Niklas Jihde (Sweden) 21 (12+9))
Matthias Hofbauer (Switzerland) 19 (11+8)
Raymond Evensen (Norway) 15 (8+7)
Anders Hellgard (Sweden) 15 (7+8)
Christoph Hofbauer (Switzerland) 14 (10+4)
Tero Karppanen (Finland) 14 (10+4)
Mika Kohonen(Finland) 14 (1+13)
Willy Fauskanger (Norway) 13 (7+6)
Jari-Pekka Lehtonen (Finland) 12 (5+7)
Henrik Quist (Sweden) 12 (5+7)

More information you can find here.