The 2023 International Broomball tournament took place March 3-5 at Augsburg Ice Arena.
The Elite division comprised two pools with Kelly Lake, Legion BC, and Watkins Legion in Pool A and C&L, Chiefs, and Met X in Pool B. Kelly Lake was looking to win their 4th straight International title and they made it through pool play undefeated. The Chiefs won their pool with a tiebreaker over C&L. Met X defeated Legion BC in the play-in game in the top half of the bracket while C&L knocked off Watkins Legion. In the first semi-final, Met X defeated the Chiefs to advance to the final. In the other semi-final, C&L upset Kelly Lake by a score of 3-2 to advance to the final. This was the first time since the USA Broomball Nationals in 2019 that Kelly Lake didn’t advance to the Finals. The championship game between Met X and C&L was a tight affair and went to overtime tied at 1. Met X won the opening faceoff in OT and hung onto possession. They only needed 30 seconds before scoring the game winner to win the title.
An absolute thriller of a final between the Wolves and the Ohio Bombers ended with a 2-1 OT victory for the home team which captured their 4th International title. This club might have to move on to the Elite division from now on.
The Bombers took 2nd in their pool and played hard to get past Red Rock and Mel’s Boys, both by 1 goal victories. The Bombers played in some very competitive games going behind in some games, battling back to win, and in others taking the lead only to see it swiped away. Can’t sleep on the Bombers from Ohio!
The other out of town team C+ took the top of their pool going through unscathed, but fell to a sharp Mel’s boys team who had the extra legs and a goalkeeper who constantly kept his team aware of the on ice situation. This editor loves the on ice chirp from any tender.
As for the other home teams, the Flames were the most competitive. They had an excellent mix of veterans and youths to keep them in any game and it showed. They lost a tight game to the Wolves on a bounce that the keeper could do nothing about. The Flames very well could have gone on to win the top spot.
Mel’s boys came out of pool play more than wounded, but that didn’t phase them. They battled the top seeded C+ and pulled a big upset! Even more so they took on the Bombers in the semis and took them down to the wire only losing 3-4, after battling back from a 2-0 deficit. Never say die, the Mel’s boys can run and gun with the best of them.
Ice Mafia didn’t have a great run in this tournament, but it wasn’t all bad. They lost a close game to the runner-ups, but the Mafia played with discipline. They picked up a good win vs Mel’s boys in pool play, but the bracket saw them pitted against the Flames in their first playoff game. This team has potential and skill, but can’t seem to break through.
Red Rock was on point with their goaltending during the tournament, but couldn’t produce a big win when needed going against the Bombers, losing 0-1 in a back and forth game. This team is a hard working, committed team who had a great run in the Midwesterns tournament, but couldn’t repeat the magic in this run.
Arctic Blast, Kuhn Rapids, and L’Equipe entered the women’s division. Arctic Blast automatically advanced to the championship by winning their pool a victory over Kuhn Rapids and an OT loss to L’Equipe. In the playoffs, Kuhn Rapids defeated L’Equipe 2-0 and advanced to play Arctic Blast in the championship. Arctic Blast secured the title with a 3-0 win.