Israel defeated a hot Finland team to claim fifth place at the 2019 WILC and ensure that they stay in the Blue group at the 2023 WILC. Finland will end the tournament in sixth place.
With Israel outshooting Finland 40-32, this one was a battle between two electric offenses and offensive spurts were the story of the game. Israel just happened to put together a few more than Finland and really sprint ahead and maintain their lead after a huge five-goal run that lasted from late in the second through the opening minute of the third.
In a back-and-forth defensive heavy opening quarter, Tyler Crompton got Finland on the board first before Issac Bock got Israel’s offense going midway through the first. The majority of the quarter saw similar play as neither defense was allowing much, especially with the goalie play on both ends from Zach Higgins for Israel and Riku Jokela for Finland.
With things tied at 2 late in the first, Markus Mattila scored with just 17 seconds left on the clock to put Finland up 3-2 heading into the second quarter. Mattila’s goal sparked a three-goal run Finland run that stretched into the opening minutes of the third, pushing their lead out to 5-2.
After some back-and-forth play midway through the second, Israel exploded on the offensive end, putting together a five-goal run from late in the second to the first minute of the third. That run was sparked by a Zachary Pall goal and included two goals from Kyle Bergman.
Once Finland finally got their offense going again with a Robert Raittila goal early in the third, the rest of the quarter was very back-and-forth in nature. Each side was able to find the back of the net at least twice and both defenses started to wake up once again, not allowing many quality looks, especially late in the quarter.
Entering the fourth with and 11-9 lead, Israel was able to close out the game strong with three consecutive goals, including two power-play goals, to secure the 14-9 win to claim fifth place at the WILC.