Falun crowned the King of Czech open yet again! Pixbo fell in a dramatic battle
After three years, we see history repeating itself: Old friends IBF Falun and Pixbo Wallenstam meet in the final of the "royal" category of Czech Open. While in 2014 Falun steamrolled all opposition, this time Pixbo held their ground bravely, only being defeated after a furious even battle. Nontheless, Falun was just a bit better, had more success in power plays and in the end, it won 8:5.
The final jousting match of the elite male category was not just a battle between two traditional Swedish Superleague teams, but also a battle between two recent Czech Open victors. As is mentioned above, Falun dominated in 2014. Pixbo, on the other hand, won just a year later, while last year, none of the two teams made it to the final.
This year's favourite was definitely Falun; they were almost terrifyingly good in play off. They decimated Mlada Boleslav and Era without breaking a sweat. However, Pixbo was very good as well and defeated two Czech teams, Chodov and Bohemians.
It was Falun to score first in the Sunday final. Their best team lead by captain Enströmem wanted to throw their opponents off balance right off the bat, and they were succesful. The goal was scored after mere 29 seconds of play and from then on, Pixbo never managed to take the lead.
Falun was magnificent in power plays, whichever side had the advantage. In the first period, Enström took advantage of one such occassion, however, the most important point of the match came in the end of the second period. The score was 3:2 in Falun's favour, but Hedlund, a great goalkeeper of the Pixbo team, held his team together. At that point, Backby, a member of Falun team, was sent off for five minutes, giving Pixbo a great (and long) chance to even the score.
Instead of that, however, Falun struck. Two times. Their wonderful mobility allowed for two perfect chances, and both were fully taken. Suddenly, is was 5:2. Pixbo did manage to score in the power play as well, but that did not help much - conceding two goals while at such an advantage was a serious blow.
In the last period, Falun were cautious. Even so, Pixbo manage to pull themselves together and get the score to 5:7, but Falun's lead was cemented by Adrianson in the last minute. Falun celebrates victory after three years, but Pixbo certainly did enough to leave an impression as well.
Male Elite Final
IBF Falun – Pixbo Wallenstam IBK
Goals: 1. and 37. Hallén, 14. and 36. Enström, 38. C. Hajo, 50. Cederström, 53. Aldeeb, 60. Adriansson– 7. and 40. Carlsson, 24. and 43. Wahlgren, 58. Wiklund.
1. IBF Falun (SVE)
2. Pixbo Wallenstam (SVE)
3. EräViikingit (FIN) a FAT PIPE FLORBAL CHODOV (CR)
Top Scorer: Patrick Mendelin (SV Willer-Ersigen)
Most Valuable Player: Rasmus Enström (IBF Falun)
Best Goalkeeper: Jon Hedlund (Pixbo Wallenstam IBK)