When you think about inline hockey tradition, two nations come to mind. Usa and Czech Republic. They wrote pages of history. And still do. In Barcelona they will meet for the gold medals, in both tournaments. Czechs are looking for the back-to-back in men's, Usa in women's: the rivalry is set.
Here's a resume about the semifinal games:
Forget about the 9-1 result in the first phase. Semifinal Czech Republic – Canada was totally another story. Never understimate the Canadians: they opened the game netting two quick goals with Woods, surprising the Czechs and the packed Mar Bella rink. Then the Czechs woke up and another game started: in the middle of the first period Loskot and Cik in less than two minutes beat Hartwell: it was 2-2 at the end of a crazy first period.
In the second period goalies were outstanding. It was czech Tomas Rubes to find the net with less than 5 minutes to go. Canada didn't give up until the final buzzer, trying to beat Frodl in every possible way. After twelve months, Czech Republic will play for gold again.
The show went on with Usa – France. Awesome hockey, on high-pace, with a bunch of great skilled players ready to entertain an enthusiastic crowd. France started better, playing its solid fast hockey and scoring first with Duclos on the power play. In the same situation, Usa is letal. They showed it all along the tournament: it's Schiavo to find the net. France took the lead again thanks to veteran Gabillet. Another killer power play by the americans tied the game. Usa got the momentum on its side: Noe went coast-to-coast to beat with a sick move Lafourcade. Like sharks, americans smelled blood: speed, skills and intensity, the perfect formula to take a three goals advantage before the break. Noe made the sixth in the second period, but Les Blues answered with Gabillet again, on power play. It was too late for a comeback. Usa scored the seventh and then controlled till the end.
In women's tournament the final will be Usa – Czech Republic too. The americans are looking for the third straight gold. They beat Spain 5-1 in the semifinal, even if they were outshot 32-27. Spain wasn't enough accurate around the crease, but showed great team effort as usual. Usa was cynical: they score first with Era and then defended well in a close first period. In the second period they pushed and found the net with Bier and Veharanta (twice). Spain changed the goalie and scored with Merino Blazquez but was enable to re-open the game in the last ten minutes. Friedman score the final 5-1 goal.
Czech Republic had to fight hard to defeat an indomitable italian squad. Italy played box-style closing the spaces around its incredible netminder Biondi, who neutralized 38 shots. In the first period only a scramble beat Biondi, with Jancova to tip it in. Italy found the net in the second period thanks to Cipriano, who shot top-shelf in power play. The game winning goal came with 3.15 left on the clock, with a long distance shot by czech captain Mrazova. Then Kovarova scored on empty net and it was over.
Check WRG19 Inline Hockey livescores, standings and schedule here:
13 july Inline hockey men finals schedule:
6.30pm Bronze medal game: Canada - France
10pm Gold medal game: Czech Republic- Usa
13 july Inline hockey women finals schedule:
5pm Bronze medal game Spain – Italy
8pm Gold medal game Usa – Czech Republic
12 july Inline hockey men semifinals results:
Czech Republic – Canada 3-2
France – Usa 3-7
12 july Inline hockey women semifinals results:
Usa – Spain 5-1
Czech Republic – Italy 3-1
11 July Inline hockey men other results:
Italy – Slovakia 1-2
Brazil – Latvia 3-7
Colombia – Great Britain 3-2 ot
Sweden – Germany 7-1
Chinese Taipei – Namibia 2-10
Media assets: https://bit.ly/2NgG1iz
PHOTO CREDIT VANESSA ZENOBINI