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Supporting the growth of Floorball in the United States.

The most competitive Youth Nationals so far

By
Updated: June 26, 2021
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No one could have anticipated the exciting and balanced competition witnessed at the 2021 USA Floorball National Youth Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend.

Orlando took gold, Utah Blue won silver, and Chicago the bronze. Individual player awards went to Luke
Williamsson (Orlando) for Most Goals (21 goals), Ryan Folic (Orlando) for Most Assists (10 assists), and
Isaiah Valadez (Utah Blue) as Best Goaltender with a 0.832 overall save percentage.

The final game was intense. With less than a minute left in regulation time Utah Blue was leading
Orlando 4 – 3. Luke Williamsson, Orlando’s leading scorer, took the ball down the left side of the pitch
with Utah Blue’s Samuel Kimball playing tight defense. As Williamsson approached the goal, he took a
quick shot. Kimball’s stick was in the way. The ball ricocheted off the stick and went bouncing toward
the goal. Valadez tried a kick save, but the ball bounced over his leg and into the goal, tying the game at
4-4 with 0:46 seconds remaining. The score stayed the same through overtime. In the end, Orlando
won the shoot out and came away with gold. Utah Blue Coach, Doug Kimball, said, “I love the intense
games. Those are the ones people are going to remember.”

The final matchup almost didn’t happen. After losing to Orlando in the seeding round 16-0, the Utah
White team toughened their defense and nearly forced Orlando to the bronze medal game in the
Playoffs when the game tied at 4-4 and the end of regulation time. Led by Wyatt Strahan and Gavin
Jones, Utah gained an early lead. Goaltender Dallas Thornock kept them in the game, saving 24 shots
for a 0.833 save percentage and forcing overtime. We all thought it was pretty amazing to see that kind
of performance against a top-level team from a first-time floorball goalie. The sudden death goal was
put away by Cameron Donahue with an assist from Ryan Folic at 2:50 OT.

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In like fashion, Chicago’s NuNu Addington and Tommy Merritt helped their team push past a tired Utah
White team to win the bronze. Merritt had 4 goals and 1 assist and Addington had 1 goal and 2 assists.
Will Merritt also contributed 1 unassisted goal to win the game 6-2.

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Photo: RE Photography

Every team in the tournament including Colorado and Utah Red won at least one game. Most of the
players on these teams are new to floorball and the positive experience of the tournament left parents
and kids asking where they could sign up for the next event.

“Our goal for the tournament was to create an opportunity for the U14 youth in the United States to
have balanced, well-officiated, competitive play in an atmosphere of excellent sportsmanship and
progression,” said tournament organizer Amy Liechty. “We want to see floorball grow and be successful
here, and from what I have seen, I think we accomplished our goal. All the kids had fun and made new
friends.”

Orlando’s Luke Williamsson (Silver Medal Team 2019) said, “I have been waiting two years for another
chance to win Nationals and we worked hard for it, so this means a lot to me. We had an amazing team
spirit the whole tournament and that is what I love about it.”

Utah Blue forward Victor Liechty (Bronze Medal Team 2019) chimed in, “My favorite part of the
tournament was after each game when the teams faced each other and gave one another specific
compliments. That tradition is unique to floorball. I’ve never seen it anywhere else.” He and some of
the players from Orlando exchanged phone numbers after the final game and promised to keep in
touch.

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Photo: RE Photography

In addition to local leagues and regional tournaments, Daniel Williamsson from USA Floorball and coach
of Orlando, highlighted national and international opportunities to play as well. “I think this was the
most competitive and exciting Youth Nationals so far,” he said, “and I encourage all the talented players
to be a part of the Y16 National Team program. It is available to anyone under 16, so sign up for the
Y16 Mixed National Team to make sure you don’t miss any information on upcoming
amazing opportunities.”

Youth Nationals also saw a very talented Y16 National Team competing in the adult tournament. Although
facing daunting opposition playing more experienced adult players, they held their own and gave all the adult
teams a run for the money. The future is bright for US Floorball.

Y16

U14 US Nationals Tournament Game Stats

U14 US Nationals Tournament Player Stats