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Elvis helps Estonia to qualify for WFC 2012 in Switzerland! – 03.02.2012

Estonia took the second qualification spot in EUR2 and will join Slovakia in the WFC 2012 final round, after they best Slovenia 12-3.

Miran Likar scored the opening goal of the game for Slovenia after just two minutes, but this was to be the only time that they held the lead. Estonia scored the next seven goals and the game was decided after just 30minutes. Elvis Aug was the top goal-scorer for Estonia, making three goals - one in each period.

As the teams went to the first break the score was still close at 1-3 to Estonia, and when Slovenia began the second period with a powerplay advantage they would´ve been confident of getting the score closer, but two short-handed goals to Estonia, one to Johan Strömfelt and the other to Andro Sõber  ruined that plan.

For Slovenia, Rok Korosec scored from a penalty shot and also a short-handed goal and deserved his Best Player award. Again, the enthusiasm of the Slovenian players and their supporters made the disappointing scoreline not seem so bad.

Estonia have been by far the strongest team in this group and with some more preparation before the final round in December, they should be expected to do quite well in Switzerland.

Best players:
Estonia: Henrik Talme
Slovenia: Rok Korosec

SLOVAKIA v ITALY

Slovakia held on for a one goal win over Italy and become the first team from the European qualification tournaments to qualify for the final round of WFC 2012 which will be held in December in Switzerland.

In an important game for both teams, the play was always going to be conservative, neither team wanting to be the one that made the mistakes that would give any opportunity for the opposition to score. Defensively, both played very tight. In the last period, Italy played one-on-one defence on the whole court, forcing Slovakia to have to open the game from behind their own goal.

Slovakia showed better overall team play to control the ball, having the more well-constructed opening moves and attacking plays. With 34 saves, the Italian goalkeeper, Renato Petro worked hard to keep his team in the game. The Italians tried to turn the game quickly but their lack of cohesion meant that their passes didn´t always end up with their own players.

On paper, the Italians had the experience, with many playing in strong Swiss club teams, but on the court it was the Slovakians with their better rehearsed set moves and understanding between the players that was the winner. The Italians has one last opportunity to score with just a few seconds on the clock, but the shot missed by just centimetres and it was the Slovakians who celebrated with dancing and cheering.

Best players:
Italy: Renato Petro
Slovakia:
Peter Heles

SERBIA v NETHERLANDS

In the end, Serbia won comfortably over the Netherlands 10-5, but in what will be a close competition for 3rd place in EUR2 and also in the very important ´Best 3rd team´ qualification spot, they would´ve been hoping to have not conceded so many goals.

Serbia would have surely been aiming to end the game with their overall goals for and against to be in the positive, but this result was not enough for that. Serbia led from the first minute of the game and never looked like they would lose. Their success was helped by Alexander Zoric who played a strong game, scoring 4+1, and their captain Toni Valle (3+1).

The Netherlands have had a tough tournament and had some uneven final scorelines, but in this game they did well to keep the score relatively close. Despite already being down 5-1 at the first break, they continued to play positively and did well to score 5 goals of their own, two of them by their best player Jochem de Bruin.

Best Players:
Serbia: Toni Valle
Netherlands: Jochem de Bruin

The next game in Slovenia, between Italy and Slovakia will be important for both teams. A win for Slovakia will ensure their qualification to the WFC 2012 Final round, and Italy need a win to keep in the competition as the 3rd place qualifier.

More news and tournament information can be found here.

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