BELLEVILLE ¬– Two young women from Six Nations helped Team Canada win a silver medal at the seventh Women´s U-19 World Floorball Championships 2016.
In only its second season of operation in International Floorball, Team Canada almost pulled an upset over Germany in the B Grouping Gold Medal game played in the Quinte Sport & Wellness Centre last week — with the medal round played Sunday May 8 at the Yardmen Arena in Belleville, Ont.
Although experience paid off for the Germans in the end, Canada made a serious impact on the world stage in the growth of floorball in Canada by taking the Germans to the wall in a 6-5 final score.
The two Six Nations girls, Kimberly Gibson and Shania Anderson, contributed to a thrilling tournament that saw teams representing Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, USA, Japan, Germany, Thailand and Canada. Maddy Brinklowe from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory also represented Team Canada in net.
“I felt pretty honoured. The competition was very difficult because they were highly skilled,” said Shania Anderson. “We are all just hockey players playing the sport. We brought our hockey skills and went with the flow — we even had a Swedish coach help us out too.”
Anderson said that she was proud to represent Six Nations and Canada, saying that it “was a lot of fun”.
Earlier, Canada narrowly defeated Germany in their group match scoring the winning goal in the last minute of the match — the exact same 5-4 result from when the teams met at the last Women’s U-19 WFC in 2014. The tournament is run every two years.
In the gold medal game, Canada went up 1-0 with a great individual effort by Hanna Wilson. They took a 2-0 lead with Anderson scoring on a rebound in close. Germany seemed to surprise the Tyendinaga Mohawk goalie Madison Brinklow, with a quick release on a hard high shot to make it 2-1, which is where the period ended.
The Germans evened the score and then took a 3-2 lead in the second. Canada’s Rachel Smith tied the game converting a cross-floor pass with a one-timer to make it a new game at 3-3.
Germany came on strong and tallied two more times late in the period to take a 5-3 second period lead.
Canada thought they got a break when the Germans took a slashing penalty, but only a second or two into the Canadian powerplay, Emily Lange was whistled down to ruin Canada’s advantage.
Canada’s Kieva Earle scored on a rebound to draw close as time wound down. Then, Kaitlyn Fung sent the partisan Canadian fans crazy with the tying goal from the very edge of the German crease.
With seconds remaining, Germany scored the game winner after Brinklow stopped the first shot and the first rebound but could not get back in time for the second rebound giving Germany the Gold medal and Canada the Silver.
Anderson scored three goals and three assists in the tournament while Gibson, who only saw limited action, earned one goal.
Canada met in the final match of day #4 versus Team USA in the semi-final. Canada took a commanding lead in the first period with Kathryn Kennedy netting a hat trick. The end of the first period saw Canada with a comfortable 5-0 advantage over the USA. The USA posted its first goal in the second period, however, the period would end 8-1 for Canada.
Period three would fair no better for team USA, as their defence could simply not keep up with the fast pace that team Canada brought to their net. Despite two late period goals, Canada cruised to an easy win, ending the game at 10-3.
Germany will move to the “A” division after the “B” gold medal win, but Canada will be the cream of the B division in 2018 by virtue of their strong showing this year.