With two games played yesterday in Helsinki, Finland in a three game qualifier for the B Sledge Hockey World Championships, Finland and Austria sit tied at one win a piece. The decider will be played later today.
Austria won the first game 1 – 0 from a goal by Martin Pachoining 10:40 into the second period. The game was a low shooting affair, with Austria only having two shots on goal while Finland had one in the first period. The second period saw Finland have six shots on goal, while Austria only had one.
Finland won the second game 1 – 0, with Seppo Joensuu scoring for Finland with 3:59 played in the second period. Like the first game, it was a low shooting affair. Both teams only got two shots off in the first period.
Both teams have had little time to prepare for this qualifier, with the announcement regarding the qualifier only having been made last month after Estonia withdrew from the competition. Placement at the B World Championship is important because the top two teams will qualify for the A World Championship in 2017, and the last finisher will participate in the C World Championship, a new competition that debuts in 2016.
The Austrian roster draws exclusively from two Austrian club teams, the Carinthian Steelers and the Vienna Warriors. Goalkeeper Michael Ossimitz plays for the Steelers, and is the only goalkeeper the team is taking. Defensemen Thomas Schilcher and Stefan Eberdorfer play for the Steelers while Andreas Meixner plays for the warriors. Forwards Jürgen Haindl and Martin Pachoinig also play for the Steelers, while Kai Habeler, Dennis Wliszczak and Stefan Reininger play for the Warriors. Franz Sailer is the team’s assistant coach.
Finland’s roster team includes goalkeer Timo Karko, and forwarders and defenders Seppo Joensuu, Aki Alestalo, Markku Hirvelä, Harri Kangastie, Tuomas Manni, Jani Antero Roponen, Hannu Oksa, and Kari Seliverstow. The Finnish side is relatively old with Joensuu born in 1958, Hirvelä born in 1966, and Seliverstow born in 1962. The youngest player is Manni, who was born in 1996. The next youngest player is Kangastie who was born in 1984.