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Game Recap: USA vs. NZL

Updated: May 7, 2019
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The US Men’s U19 team played New Zealand yesterday in an international friendly is a warm-up to the World Floorball Championships (WFC) this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The United States played aggressively for the first half of the match and then spent the rest of the match developing lines and tactics for use during this week’s WFCs.

The Americans struck first at 6:18 in the first period with a shot from the high slot by Thomas Terhonen, assisted by Eric Dieckelman.  The US added to their score just over three minutes later with Dieckelman’s first goal of the week at 9:30, unassisted.  The first period ended with the US up 2-0.

Both teams adjusted at the break, with the Kiwis applying more and more pressure, especially on the forecheck.  Continued pressure finally paid off for New Zealand, and just past the halfway point of the 2nd period Tim McKibben scored on American starting goalie Jonathan Mooney, who had been perfect to that point with 6 saves on 6 shots.  Coach Joel Olofsson elected to give his backup goalie, Liam Williamsson, some playing time in the pre-tournament friendly and substituted Williamsson for Mooney after the goal.

New Zealand immediately tested the new goalie and McKibben scored again just 3 minutes later to equalize the game a 2-2.  The United States began to step up their physicality, however, and captain Carl Eriksson drew a 2 minute roughing penalty to send the Americans to their first penalty kill of the week.  The penalty kill unit stepped up, however, and 1:14 into the penalty, Rikhard Lehtinen put the US back up one on a short-handed goal off a turnover by the Kiwis near the center line.  Just over 2 minutes later, the US again took a 2 goal lead when Lukas Alongi scored on a feed from Lehtinen with 1:03 left in the 2nd period.

The final frame featured a furious attack mounted by New Zealand, but Williamsson and the defense stood strong for the start of the period.  The Kiwi’s scored when Jesse Morgan fired one in with 12:48 to go to draw within one, but just over a minute later Eriksson tallied his first goal of the week coming from Dieckelman’s third assist of the game on the power play.  The Americans were back up by 2 with just under 12 minutes to go.

New Zealand upped their pace again, and began to significantly pressure the US defense.  With 5:46 remaining, New Zealand’s McKibben completed his hattrick, and the Ameican lead was cut to one.  The Kiwi’s got their equalizer with 1:20 remaining on a goal by Alec Stewart, with an assist by McKibben.  After a timeout by New Zealand, neither team could score and the game ended in a draw.

The best players for each team were named following the game.  McKibben had 5 points for New Zealand, having either scored or assisted on all 5 Kiwi goals.  On the American side, Dieckelman finished with 1 goal and 3 assists.

Next up for the teams:

Group C: United States at Poland – Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern Time

Group D: New Zealand at Slovenia – Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern Time

Official Match Report

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1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period