The two opponents present the same attacking trios as yesterday (apart from the test of young talent Vesterheim on the Norwegian side) and therefore have apparently found the right formula. Norway have changed their defensive pairs and are obviously looking for the best balance. The France team is also doing it to allow the entry of Florian Chakiashvili, which is the good news of the day because one is needed. When a team plays its last warm-up match, it generally aligns its standard team and its number 1 goalkeeper. This means that Sebastian Ylönen seems designated for this role by Philippe Bozon.
The Cergy-Pontoise goalkeeper quickly has work because Norway takes possession and imposes long sequences in the offensive zone. Dominated, the French concede the first penalty, a ping from Valentin Claireaux on Engebråten. It only resulted in a dangerous shot, sent by Mattias Nørstebø into traffic and deflected from the left shoulder by Ylönen. On the full return, the Bozon-Addamo-Texier trio signs the first good presence of France, an all too rare oasis in the desert.
The Blues mess up their raises, are beaten in the duels and are well below the level displayed during their 4-3 victory yesterday. After a very disappointing quarter of an hour, the end of the period is better. Nicolas Ritz intercepts a puck in the neutral zone and the work from the back of the zone by his wingers gives him the last opportunity before returning to the locker room: placed between the circles, he connects skate control and shooting, but Henrik Haukeland diverts.
This second match is less exciting than yesterday’s and brilliant actions are rare. Coaches will be satisfied that their teams are in place. After ten very gloomy minutes, Jordann Perret collided with the Norwegian goalkeeper. During the penalty, Haga does not manage to deflect a cross from Trettenes in front of the goal… and on the counter-attack, it is Kevin Bozon who finds himself on breakaway, a little embarrassed with the puck as he approaches the opposing goal . No technical enlightenment today, really…
Eirik Salsten checks Kevin Dusseau behind the French goal and passes back for Ludvig Hoff in the slot, but this best Norwegian chance is blocked by Ylönen. The territorial domination of the local team only produced in the end… only a fatal error: Philip Granath’s back pass was intercepted by Jordann Perret who put the turbo on and went alone to goal. To stop him, defender Ole Einar Andersen chooses as a last resort… the tie. It’s a penalty shot. The opportunity to see Alexandre Texier at work, who fired a nice wrist shot, halfway up the shield side (0-1). The rejoicing of the young French in the stands lasts only two minutes, even if their « Allez les Bleus » will continue to cover the entire Norwegian public throughout the match. A slap from Emil Lilleberg hits Ylönen’s right boot, Eirik Salsten beats Thiry on the rebound and equalizes from the backhand (1-1).
Thirty seconds from the second break, a dubious cross pass from Emil Lilleberg in his zone gives the puck in front of goal to Kévin Bozon. Too bad it fell on him, because the Ajoie striker is really not the most precise of the Blues in front of goal… Even more unfortunate is what happens next. Håvard Salsten – Eirik’s brother – goes up the whole ice via a one-two with Sander Vold Engebråten, overtakes Vincent Llorca (who even comes to hinder the retreat of Dylan Fabre so much faster than him) and places the puck at the near post, under the right arm of Sebastian Ylönen (2-1). A weak goal that hurts a lot, eight seconds before returning to the locker room…
Norway widened the gap a little more on the return on the ice. After a throw from Trettenes, the rebound goes to the left for Sondre Olden who has the cage open with a tight angle. His shot is actually missed, slightly behind and not towards the frame… Unfortunately, Ylönen sends the puck into his own net by replacing himself (3-1).
A pass from behind Louis Boudon’s cage finds an Anthony Rech, decidedly lacking in success, who shoots at the post of the open cage! Rech still misses the target on another back pass from Llorca… Precision in the last gesture is lacking for all the French, as shown by Nicolas Ritz’s low-risk recovery on an excellent cross from Fabre or the off-target shot de Gallet served behind by Treille. The long French highlight is therefore not rewarded.
Norway are still getting chances, including a succession of rebounds for Andreas Martinsen. Eirik Salsten intercepts a recovery from Lucien Onno with his skate on the blue line and dribble past Pierre Crinon before seeing the access to the goal blocked by Ylönen.
Tricolor domination resumed with a shot from Chakiashvili deflected by Texier on the post (the fourth French post in two days!). No regrets, the goal would not have been granted because the referees indicate that Texier hampered the goalkeeper (he was pushed), the commitment is made outside the offensive zone. After an altercation between Boudon and Haga who are sent to prison, Philippe Bozon takes out his goalkeeper to play 5 against 4. The siege of the Norwegian zone lasts more than two minutes, in vain. A puck lost in the neutral zone by Charles Bertrand arrives on Håvard Salsten which ends in an empty cage (4-1). And a third goal to the credit of the Norwegian third line (that of the Salsten brothers) which delivered a big game.
If France showed its offensive capacities yesterday, this match puts a damper. The Blues played it crescendo, which is a good point, but the meeting turned into a festival of missed opportunities. This is all the more difficult as the examinations carried out during this Norwegian excursion revealed that Pierrick Dubé suffered from a small fracture of the malleolus (Valier was recalled in his place). Dubé was just a pure scorer, and this match showed why he could have been useful to the French.
Designated players of the match: Hugo Gallet for France and Håvard Salsten for Norway.
Norway – France 4-1 (0-0, 2-1, 2-0)
Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. at Varner Arena in Asker. 1902 spectators.
Referees: Petter Bjerkan Bakken and Marcus Vardeberg Wannerstedt assisted by Niklas Aldar Wilhelmsen and Herman Kruse Johansen (NOR).
Penalties: Norway 4′ (0′, 2′, 2′); France 6′ (2′, 2′, 2′).
Shots: Norway 38 (11, 16, 11); France 34 (10, 11, 13).
0-1 at 35’01: Texier (penalty shot)
1-1 at 37’07: E. Salsten assisted by Lilleberg and Hoff
2-1 at 39’52: H. Salsten assisted by Engebråten
3-1 at 41’58: Olden assisted by Trettenes and Krogdahl
4-1 at 59’37: H. Salsten (empty goal)
Michael Haga (2′) – Ken André Olimb (C) – Petter Vesterheim
Sondre Olden (+1) – Mathias Trettenes (A, +1) – Andreas Martinsen (+1)
Eirik Ostrem Salsten (+3) – Håvard Ostrem Salsten (+3) – Ludvig Hoff (+3)
Thomas Berg-Paulsen – Markus Vikingstad – Thomas Olsen
Emil Martinsen Lilleberg (A, +2) – Mattias Nørstebø
Ole Julian Bjørgvik-Holm – Johannes Johanessen (+1)
Ole Einar Andersen (+1, 2′) – Max Krogdahl (+2)
Sander Vold Engebråten (+2)
Henrik Haukeland [sorti de 06’58 à 07’19]
Substitute: Jonas Arntzen (G). In the stands: Tobias Normann (L), Christian Kåsastul, Isak Hansen (D), Noah Steen, Christoffer Karlsen (A).
Tim Bozon (-1) – Justin Addamo – Alexandre Texier (-1)
Dylan Fabre (-1) – Valentin Claireaux (A, -2, 2′) – Jordan Perret (-1, 2′)
Anthony Rech (-1) – Louis Boudon (-1, 2′) – Charles Bertrand (-2)
Sacha Treille (C, -2) – Nicolas Ritz (A, -1) – Kevin Bozon (-1)
Jules Boscq – Hugo Gallet
Pierre Crinon – Lucien Onno
Florian Chakiashvili (-3) – Vincent Llorca (-2)
Kevin Dusseau (-1) – Thomas Thiry (-1)
Sebastian Ylonen [sorti de 56’41 à 57’02 et de 58’00 à 59’37]
Substitute: Quentin Papillon (G). In the stands: Julian Junca (G), Enzo Guebey (D), Guillaume Leclerc (A).