The second match of my October 2021 trip took me to Turku, FBC Loisto, the women team of FBC Turku, hosted SB-Pro in their Sport Garden arena. After having started the trip with a match of two top ranked teams, EräViikingit and SC Classic, this match was rather a battle of two teams on average level. Especially SB-Pro surprisingly felt to trouble a bit at the beginning of the 2021/22 season. Thus, there was definitely not a clear favorite in this match in a surprisingly similar-strength teams Women F-Liiga.
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FBC Loisto – SB-Pro – Match Report
In front of 120 spectators in the narrow Turku Sports Garden, there was no tactical play in the first minutes at all. FBC Loisto made use of a nervous beginning of both teams. It took Tuulia Lahti just 23 seconds after the first face-off the score the lead for the hosts. SB-Pro’s netminder Milla Jaatinen was able to block a shot by Tessa-Veera Pietilä, but the rebound was just too easy to convert. Both teams had offensive opportunities in this part of the match, but SB-Pro felt too cumbersome and imprecise, while Loisto was extremely effective. After about six minutes, it was Eerika Koski to add a second score for the Turku team to the scoreboard after she aimed for the laser from a half-right position.
On the other side of the rink (again, there was no court change in intermissions), there were chances like the one by Mirja Hietamäki in the twelfth minute, when she was unable to convert a fast break against Loisto’s goalie Elinda Hermanson. When Olivia Pietilä even increased the lead to three goals in the 17th minute, it already felt that the Nurmijärvi ladies had a dark Saturday on the West Coast. One key reason was that the Turku defense overall did a great job against the first line of SB-Pro – the Kujala twins and Mirja Hietamäki had rather rare opportunities.
On the other hand, the second offensive line with center Laura Hietamäki and the young guns Aino Tuokkola and Aada Isometsä managed to create trouble in the D of the Loisto – and finally these girls were also the one who gave hope to Sami Saarikoski’s squad: just about half a minute later, Anu Raatevaara could convert a flat shot almost from the center of the rink after Isometsä gave her a precise opening pass. The FBC Turko ladies pushed for another one – but the score after twenty entertaining minutes was 3-1.
Back in Business – Nurmijärvi ties the Score in the 2nd Period
After sunny opening twenty minutes for FBC Loisto, they started with tough luck into the middle period. Even though they controlled the game in the first two and a half minutes and likely had a ball possession of 85%, the guests got one back early in the 24th minute. Anni Räisänen made it look so easy to pass two Loisto defenders – and her shot was as good as your effort before.
SB-Pro more and more became the better team – and they could profit of some of some of these big names of Finnish floorball in their squad: Mirja Hietamäki used her individual abilities and just went through the Loisto defense to tie the score in the 31st minute. Remarkably, the assistant was given to SB-Pro’s goalie, Milla Jaatinen. I felt to having spotted a blocked shot by Elina Kujala before, but I might be wrong. Turku more and more saw that SB-Pro might become too strong. They slowed down the match and just saved that tied score until the intermission – which felt to be a really wise option.
Time for Double Twin Power To Finish It Off
No doubt, the two twin pairs in the SB-Pro squad had saved their team from a loss so often in the past. On this Saturday in Turku, it was one of these matches again in the third period. The first lead for the guests has been a great option for any season highlight video. Tuokkola gave a hard pass into the slot and center Laura Hietamäki did an amazing deflection of the ball right underneath the crossbar. Just when I recorded some notes about the previous ten minutes, in which Turku felt to create more pressure again, the hosts deservedly got back some hope: Koski scored her second goal of the match after a nice assist by Olivia Pietilä (53rd).
However, in these final seven minutes, SB-Pro played like in their big matches of previous seasons now. They corrected this sportive accident just eight seconds later. Elina Kujala had the brightest smile of her team in that situation, after she converted as pass by her sister Karoliina. SB-Pro now controlled the match. Finally, the decision was on the list of demands of this first offensive line of the guests. Karoliina’s blocked shot in the 56th minute lead to confusion so that finally Mirja Hietamäki just had to convert the rebound into the empty net. FBC Loisto did what teams do in these situations – but neither a time-out nor playing without goalie lead to any major opportunities.
FBC Loisto – SB-Pro – My View of the Match
It will be an interesting season for SB-Pro, I feel. There are a lot of young, talented players. As long as the team can stay in playoff position, they might be strong enough to play an interesting role towards the season’s highlight. The Kujalas, Hietamäkis or players like Raatevaara still give the necessary experience to form a new successful generation.
On the other side, FBC Loisto played a great match in my point of view – they just did not have the abilities yet to be that unpleasant opponent with a very straight, effective offense over the whole match time. There are quite a bunch of young, talented players as well, which should rather see their performance as a success than a tough loss. There were too many mistakes on both sides, especially in the first 30, 35 minutes of the match – but despite some nightmares for the coaches, it was a really nice-to-watch fight closing with a deserved winner.
FBC Loisto – SB-Pro – Lineups
FBC Loisto: 71 Maria Viitala, 41 Elinda Hermanson – 6 Eeva-Maria Heininen, 9 Noora Isomäki, 11 Tuulia Lahti, 13 Nea Keihäs, 15 Emma Vähäkangas, 18 Saana Lenkkeri, 23 Clara Sofia Grönberg, 28 Olivia Honkonen, 42 Maija Väätäjä, 61 Emilia Pietilä, 64 Emilia Kurppa, 66 Olivia Pietilä, 68 Eerika Koski, 78 Tessa-Veera Pietilä, 96 Henrika Maikola
SB-Pro Nurmijärvi: 16 Milla Jaatinen, 31 Nuppu Tikkakoski – 3 Jenina Hämäläinen, 4 Mea Kiuru, 7 Aino Tuokkola, 12 Saana Neulasalmi, 15 Emma Kankainen, 18 Elina Kujala, 19 Karoliina Kujala, 20 Anu Raatevaara, 22 Laura Hietamäki, 30 Aada Isometsä, 33 Mirja Hietamäki, 55 Heini Haapalahti, 60 Jenna Ronkainen, 70 Juulianna Sotola, 77 Emma-Karoliina Itänen, 83 Emmi Lindh, 86 Anni Räisänen
SB-Pro – TPS Turku – Gallery
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