It looks like the B Pool has a copyright on drama. In yet another close match, Bermuda, playing their first match at the tournament, faced France, who beat Great Britain literally in the last minute and was looking to set up a winning streak to open their 2017 WC.
With only 66 seconds into the game, it was Christopher Hands Jackson of Bermuda who punished a mistake of the French goalkeeper, Stephane Lion. France bounced back, had more possession and countered with the goals of Domain and Bacul in the 4th and 12th minute respectively. However, the response did not take long to come, as Christopher Hands Jackson scored his second goal of the match after a perfect pass from Robert Bailey in a 2 on 1 breakaway.
In the second period, the teams concentrated more on defending and the game became a bit more physical, with multiple power plays awarded to both sides. In the 13th minute of the 2nd period, it was another Christopher – Christopher Merrit, who put Bermuda ahead 3-2.
The third period followed the same trend. The French equalised early on in the 2nd minute and the players kept the tempo going, showing no fatique whatsoever. Both goalkeepers denied any other changes to the score. Lion on the French and Leclerc on the Bermuda side made tremendous saves to keep the score 3-3 after 60 minutes.
The game had to be decided in a penalty shootout, and it was Jacob Amlong who was the hero for Bermuda, celebrating his birthday with a winning goal! After the match, he gave his views: “We had 8 new rookies who have never played at a World Championship, so there was a bit of nervousness, but after the first shift you feel comfortable – the veterans helped us, told us to enjoy it and that it’s going to be an exciting game. It actually was, quick, back and forth both ways.”
Bermuda is playing Lebanon tomorrow, on the 3rd of June at 6.00 p.m., and Amlong is already looking forward to it: “Luckily, Lebanon played before us, so we got here early and watched them play. They played tough, it’s going to be a bit more work on the boards, but we have some big guys and want to use our speed as well.”
What an exciting day two of action! Let’s hope for many other of these dramatic matches here in Pardubice, Czech Republic, in the biggest ball hockey event of the year!