2014 Roller Hockey World Championships: a French double for the first day
Recap of the first day
(Almost) all of the 26 nations taking part in the Roller Hockey Worlds have reached destination, in the south of France. The unlucky Mexicans got stuck at their departure airport for ticket problems. The event will take place without them.
The other participants have been taking their marks for several days in the impressive Palais des Sports of Toulouse, a great 4.000+ seat arena reserved for our sport.
The opening ceremony was short but spectacular, with the nations' marching followed by beautiful choreographies. Yamakasis completed the show.
Make way for sport!
The French teams had the honor of opening the competition, doing a great start in respectively beating Colombia 7 to 0 in the senior women's and Belgium 12 to 0 in the junior men's.
Senior Women's: France 7 - 0 Colombia
The French Team starts the game in the best conditions. During the first 5 minutes, we can already witness several shots on target from the French, although they don't fool the Colombian goal keeper. The game speeds up on both sides but the French seem more precise and faster than the Colombians. Lena Rault (ass. Marie Ravix) opens the score for her first national selection, after a counterattack where she dribbles the last opposing player.
The second goal is scored less than a minute later by Sophie Jupilat (ass. Marina Fagoaga-Jalinier) with a mid-height shot. Marina Drici-Corbeil seizes a great opportunity and shoots the bar. Aurore Gauthier likewise. The score remains the same until the end of the first period.
Back from the break, the Léna Rault-Marie Ravix pair hit again after 2'48''.
Then it's Marna Drici-Corbeil's turn to score. The French have the situation under control and keep on widening the gap with Fanny Benoit (ass. Camille Jabea) and last but not least Lena Rault (ass. Marie Ravix).
Final Score: 7 to 0. Such a result is a good omen for what comes next, giving confidence to the French before their game against Great Britain, a team that they haven't seen perform in many years…
Junior Men's: France 12 - 0 Belgium
Belgians and French start the game at a sustained pace. The Belgians resist efficiently to the first attacks of the French. Both teams stand up to each other for almost 10 minutes before France takes the advantage. Janick de Vijlder makes a penalty and the French make the most of it to open the score in Power-Play, at the 12th minute with Hugo Vitou (ass. Clément Belot).
Two minutes later, it's Paul Lafage's turn (ass. Lucas Mousset) to add one up. 30 seconds later, the 3rd goal is shot by Clément Belot (ass. Louis Duchâteau). The Belgians keep on resisting, especially thanks to the huge work of their goal keeper, but are greatly affected by his substitution for injury.
1'30'' from the middle break, Hugo Vitou (ass. Louis Duchâteau) increases the lead once more.
Score at the break: 4 to 0.
In second period, the French go for a never-ending goal display: Thomas Robert (ass. Marius Godano), Valentin Morizet (ass. Paul Lafage), Alexandre Gaboriau (ass. Thomas Robert), Valentin Blanchet (ass. Thomas Robert), Thomas Robert (ass. Marius Godano), Valentin Blanchet and last but not least Yves Perrot (ass. Clément Belot), which brings the score to 12-0. The score may be anecdotal, yet it enables the French to bring out their speed and offensive efficiency before their meeting, in two days, with Italy and their defensive precision.
The forces involved
The trainings highlighted some disparities between the nations involved, disparities in level as well as in equipment. The biggest organizations such as the USA, Canada or the Czech Republic are perfectly equipped and ready. Their training sessions disclose powerful, fast, technique and well-trained players. The influence of ice hockey culture is strongly felt. Countries such as India look like baby brothers in comparison… But this is also part of the richness of the World Championships!
Useful LinksBy Alfathor
Photos : Eddy Wegrzyn et Alfathor