Time to take a look at the success story of the U.S. Adult Nationals and all that it contained.
This year’s US Floorball Nationals was played September 2-3 in Draper, UT. Utah Floorball club and Amy Liechty put on a great tournament with very competitive games from start to finish. This was played at the same facility where the NAFL had league games earlier this year, at the Sport City Utah.
This year the US Floorball Nationals was combined with MU19 WFCQ against Floorball Canada and it proved to be a very successful combination with all of the US Floorball community in attendance to help cheer on our USA National MU19 against Floorball Canada.
Thanks to the local Utah Floorball fans and the NTFA cheerleaders raising the bar for US Floorball fans moving forward. The great fan backing helped carry our MU19 players for two huge wins against Canada. A separate report on the MU19 WFCQ will follow.
Day 1 started out with a great game between Menlo Park and NTFA where Menlo Park was the stronger team winning this game 4-2 The last Menlo Park goal was an empty net scored by Fresno Force (NAFL) captain Matt Smith. This might be the real upset game of day one since NTFA came into the tournament with the number 1 ranking after an unbeaten 2022 season.
NTFA continued to face more adversity in day 1, when they played a red-hot Chicago Dogs in game two. This was a tight affair from the first face-off, where both teams were going back and forth equalizing each other leads. Sebastian Romanowski had two goals and the final score was set with 3 minutes left of the game when Michal Winiarski made it 4 – 4.
The first day of group play showed that there were several great games to look forward to in the playoffs, with last year’s National Champions, Menlo Park, 2019 Champions NTFA and Chicago gunning for the top spots.
The US based and IFF nominated referee team of Vince Faso and Sean Edin were the core part of the referee team. The tournament was conducted in a very competitive, but also great sportsmanship like manner by all teams in attendance. Only a few red cards were handed out during the entire tournament, all based on technicalities and not for misconduct or other play related infractions.
IFF referees Thomas Andersson and Rickard Wissman, who came all the way from Sweden primarily for the WFCQ, also refereed games during the US Nationals and mentored our US based referee group, helping us raise the level of refereeing here in the US to an international level. Their contribution and assistance were greatly appreciated by everyone.
Ending the day on a very positive note for the US Floorball community the round robin played ended successfully with familiar teams in the top bracket.
On day 2, it was elimination day and veteran teams like Colorado and Utah were eliminated on the way towards the Final.
The US Women’s development team took their first win when they beat Utah in the game of 7th place. National Team goalie and MVP Kate McBean was on fire and kept her team in the game with many great saves. Jenna Hausman from the Tomah Floorball club scored two goals to lead the team to a 3 – 2 win.
Menlo Park cruised comfortably through the first semifinal and secured a spot in the US National final, by winning against Chicago Mad Dogs with the final score of 7 – 1.
The other semifinal was a hard-fought battle between NTFA and Chicago Dogs. Chicago looked to be in full control of the game, leading with the score 2 – 0 and two minutes to play of the match. NTFA was not looking their best and where struggling the entire game to get their flow going, but finally got a lucky break with a surprise goal by Jari Voutilainen with 1:59 left of the game.
This got the NTFA bench motivated, and they found a lifeline. Less than 50 seconds later forward Matthew Yonai scored an equalizer and forced overtime in the last semifinal of the day. NTFA where now back in the game and the excitement in the NTFA team was almost at the level of a Keene Addington interview.
NTFA came out flying in the overtime and a fiery Matthew Yonai scored the game winning goal less than 1 minute into the overtime in this semifinal, sending them into another US championship game.
A deflated Chicago Dogs went into the 3rd place game, playing against their club mates of the Chicago Mad Dogs. With the final score of 7 – 1 they won 3rd place and a bronze medal at the 2022 US Nationals. Chicago showed that they have some of the very best Floorball players in the US and is a very strong club with many players in the top five statistics for goals, assist and points.
The final game of the US Nationals 2022 was a very familiar game and a replay of the three last US National finals with Menlo Park squaring off against NTFA once again.
You could tell this was two teams that respect and know each other very well. It would be low scoring affair with two fantastic goalies keeping the score very low. Both goalies, Alex Gross (NTFA) and Daniel Vik (Menlo Park) played exceptionally well and would not allow any mistakes or give anything away for free.
Isak Angerstig scored the lone goal of the first period before team captain Nick VanPatten made it 2-0 in the second. Menlo Park got close after Tore Kvaslerud scored 2-1 towards the end of the game. Menlo Park was not able to catch up with NTFA and the final score stayed at 2 -1 at full time and NTFA brought the Floorball gold medals back to Texas for a second time in 3 years.
They proved that NTFA is still a powerhouse in the USA Floorball community, dominating and winning all tournaments this year.
One of the players that showed exceptional sportsmanship and perseverance was the goalie for the Chicago Mad Dogs, David Slater.
He played with broken fingers, which happened during day 1, and he continued to carry the Chicago Mad Dog to the 3rd place game. Which made him an easy choice for the Sportsmanship Award at the 2022 US Nationals.
All individual awards 2022:
Most Goals: Jakub Zajac, Chicago Dogs, 11 goals
Most assists: Gustav Andersson, Chicago Dogs, 7 assists (13p).
Best Goalie: Alex Gross, NTFA
Sportsmanship Award: David Slater, Chicago Mad dogs
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