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F-Liiga Women: EräViikingit – Classic 3-1 (1-0, 1-0, 1-1)

The second-placed team against the third-placed one – what a great way to be back in floorball after the Covid-19 break. I was really flattered to be back at the EräViikingit, especially as it meant to meet two wonderful friends, Laura Loisa and Mirva Laitinen, back in the rink. The guests, SC Classic from Tampere, have been one of the big, dominating teams in men and women floorball the last seasons. However, the Women F-Liiga felt to be extremely balanced in that 2021/22 season, with leader PSS Porvoo just six points ahead of second-last team in the table, Kovee Tampere. Here is my report of the 22nd October 2021 match.

This match comes with a designated gallery of 396 major size pictures in the sports galleries.

 

EräViikingit – Classic – Match Report

The teams started with a very tactical approach. Especially Classic held the ball, when in possession and rather slowly moved forward, trying to find a wrong positioning or a weak moment in Erä’s defense. Erä felt to be slightly more active and more determined in their attacks, but also did not feel to be really effective against the Classic defense. After seven minutes, the guests were a bit of lucky, when Maura Paajanen surprised them with a shot at the post of the goal cage. In 14th minute, the hosts finally took the lead. A very good physical fore-check by Manta Likki lead to a turnover right in the Classic defense. Taru Nordman was in the slot and gave the good goalie Elsi Kangasharju no chance to block the ball. This lead to a significant increase of offensive action on both sides – but finally, there was no more score in the first period.

 

Erä also controls the second period

The shot statistics of the first period was 14-6 in the first period in favor of the Viikingit – and the second period, which felt to be a bit more active from both sides, wrote a similar story. The second goal for the EräViikingit was a but of a surprise, when Sofia Mittentag scored after some 28 minutes, but overall, the 2-0 lead after 40 minutes felt to be well-deserved. Just at the very end of the period, Classic had a chance to close up the score, but Laura Loisa blocked a shot after a nice diagonal pass from the right wing.

 

No Chance for a comeback – Classic scores, the Hosts react

By the way, one thing I was not prepared for at all was that the teams never changed sides. After they did not do so in the first intermission, I at least expect them to play in opposite direction in the final period – but I was obviously not aware of the Finnish rules here. There was hope for Classic after 48 minutes, when a shot from Meri Mäkinen to the long post was just too precise for Loisa – but Erä had the answer just about a minute later while Kangasharju had some really nice saves before and deserved to be named Classic’s best player, she had no chance when Paajanen sniped the ball through her legs from short distance.

The lead was back to a two score distance. Not too many thoughts that Classic could come back – also because Viola Pennanen had a bit too much temper four minutes before the end of the regular match time and gave her team a two minute short handed situation right in this crucial time. Erä’s defense was too solid, with outstanding actors like their Best Player of the Match Trine Sällström or experienced Mirva Laitinen.

 

EräViikingit – Classic – My View of the Match

With the victory, the EräViikingit took the lead in the intermediate F-Liiga table – having two points advantage but also two matches more than second placed PSS Porvoo. They absolutely deserved that after a brave performance with very good coaching and tactical play. The defense did a great job, especially in the first two periods and made Classic not at all feel like that super-team they have been in previous seasons. As the league feels to be a clash of a lot of similar-strength teams, it is not more than a snapshot in relatively early stages of the 2021-22 season.

 

EräViikingit – Classic – Lineups

EräViikingit: 30 Laura Loisa, 40 Sanna Viitanen – 3 Tove Tantere, 5 Manta Likki, 6 Jenni Särö, 7 Mirva Laitinen, 9 Daniela Westerlund, 14 Nelly Baumgartner, 15 Sofia Mittentag, 17 Taru Nordman, 18 Trine Sällström, 19 Maura Paajanen, 21 Lotta Varakas, 42 Jenni Rautanen, 46 Sofia Niemi, 50 Vlada Maderova, 56 Milla Ylikojola, 77 Emma Hartwall, 85 Elina Niemi, 95 Elisa Vilhunen

SC Classic: 35 Elsi Kangasharju, 84 Emma Mannila – 5 Jenni Torkki, 6 Hanna Pukero, 8 Alma Laitila, 10 Suvi Hämäläinen, 12 Lotta Purhonen, 14 Sofia Lappalainen, 17 Kristiina Kauppila, 18 Julia Woivalin, 19 Johanna Homi, 23 Meri Jokinen, 64 Natalia Pitkäkangas, 71 Viola Pennanen, 81 Annu Selinummi, 92 Meri Mäkinen

 

EräViikingit – Classic – Gallery

In the sports gallery, there is a designated major size picture gallery with 396 pictures of this match at

 

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