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Czech Open was dominated by the Finnish EräViikingit hurricane and the Swedish Pixbo amazons

18.08.2016 | zik

Foto: Pavel Růžička
Czech Open 2016 is over. And it was quite something. 272 teams from 19 different countries participated in the tournament, making this year the largest in Czech Open's history. Once again, there were thrilling games, amazing goals, and world's best players among both men and women. The most prestigious categories (Men Elite and Ladies Elite) were taken by Scandinavian teams as expected. The host country, Czechia, earned golds in the Open categories and in Juniors.

As every year, there were several significant surprise moments. One of them was Herbadent's being eliminated relatively early, not making it to the Ladies Elite quarterfinals, which earned them a humble ninth place.

 

But there still were Czech ladies in the Elite final; they came from Vítkovice. They were defeated by Pixbo in the end. In Ladies Open, the gold went to Tatran.

 

Meanwhile in Men Open, 1.MVIL Ostrava reigned, as they had overcome Finland's Fousek Team. Among Juniors, Bulldogs Brno were the best, while the Men Pro final was an all-Swiss business: Zug United vs. Floorball Thurgau; the latter celebrated victory afterwards.

 

The Czech U19 national team did fare well in the tournament and got eliminated before the quarterfinals by Lekrings from Latvia. The Czech junior team failed to repeat what their predecessors achieved two years ago – get gold. To their defense, the competition was larger this year with thirty teams playing in the Men Pro category instead of the former sixteen.

 

The Men Elite category saw a very keen competition. That was clear from the first games, such as Pardubice vs. Pixbo in the group stage. To the surprise of everyone in the hall in Vinohrady, the Czech team was keeping pace with the famous Swedes – yes, they ultimately defeated the Goliath with their unbelievable effort. Last year's winners, Pixbo, were not in their game this year, having won only one match and being eliminated before the quarterfinals.

 

But the top eight included three Czech teams: Tatran, Boleslav, and Bohemians. Tatran Střešovice made it the farthest of them, having beat Köniz in an amazing game. Boleslav yielded to Höllviken no sooner than penalties, while Bohemians got a 0:7 thrashing from EräViikingit as they stood no chance against the newly formed Finnish all-star superclub.

 

And it was the Finns who reached the gold. They overcame several tough opponents on their way to the top. Pixbo and Köniz in the eight-finals group, Falun in the semifinals, and Höllviken in the final. EräViikingit played eight games in the tournament in total, taking seven victories and a tie. The legendary Tero Tiitu helped them in reaching the gold, at the very least with scoring a goal in the close 2:0 final game.

 

All participants are certainly looking forward to the next year. Will there be a new record in the number of participating teams?