A hit to the crossbar and it is over. Gold medals for Ladies Elite go to Pixbo
The Ladies Elite FlorbalExpert Czech Open 2016 final was an even match of the two best teams there are, at least on paper, but despite that, Vítkovice vs. Pixbo was a David-vs.-Goliath-type fight. The Czech team retained their dignity despite their position of the outsider, keeping the score tied at 2:2 by the end of the second third. Pixbo won in the end, at a score of 4:3 – the same as that of the opening game in the group stage.
Pixbo started the game with a lot of pressure on the opponent, but, surprisingly, failed to score. They shoved the ball into the goal seconds after Vítkovice started playing with renewed vigour, seemingly having recovered from Pixbo's pressure. Boberg's hard ten-metre shot opened the score.
The Czechs recovered ten minutes later, with Pantělejevová showing a great attempt at the net. Vítkovice were setting the pace of the game at that moment, managing to tie the score when Ratajová picked up a pass and scored.
Pixbo was in the lead when the first third ended: they would not use the long advantage they held, but the subsequent powerplay was perfectly utilised by Krantz, who scored.
The first part of the second third was completely different. It looked like Vítkovice dropped the awe of the opponent and played a relatively even game. Their wait for a goal was ended by Enenkelová.
A sort of break point came when Zuzana Šponiarová released a dragged shot from the middle of the rink, although it only hit the goal post. Pixbo took control, testing goalie Kubíčková's skills several times before the third ended.
A complaint from Vítkovice about a defender jumping during their offense was refused. Wallinder responded to their passive start in the third period of the match with a goal. In spite of this, Vítkovice mustered all they could and Ratajová scored again, this time following a great cooperation with Šupáková.
Their joy would last only a minute and a half though, because then Habib Westh hit the goal with a deflected shot. Pixbo was in control for a significant part of the period, but Vítkovice put on some pressure in the final moments.
Three minutes to the end, Vítkovice could have scored when Heed Arvidsson was given penalty time. They created several chances, powerplayed almost the whole time, Halfarová hit the post, but the desired goal would not come.
Vítkovice's Denisa Ratajová approaches the result positively. "We showed that we can play against Pixbo, that they too are just people," she says. "It is clear that in Champions Cup, Pixbo will go all in, but we are not going to stay behind," she concludes, determined.
Eliška Krupnová, who played on the other side, was looking out for flaws. "We have to better ourselves and improve every part of our play; it is not just about the Champions Cup as we have to remember that the season is starting soon too," she reminds.