The battle for the Men’s Champions Cup 2024 will take place between Czech side Tatran Stresovice and defending champions from Sweden, IBF Falun on Saturday 27th of January at the UNYP Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
In the first year of the new format for the Champions Cup, the finalists will be represented from Czech Republic and Sweden. Of the last 9 editions of the Men’s Champions Cup, the winner has come from Sweden 8 times, including returning, defending champions IBF Falun who are the most successful men’s side in the history of the competition with 5 Champions Cup titles. Only twice in history have a side from the Czech Republic reached the Men’s CC final with the last time being in 2012 where 2024 finalists Tatran Stresovice lost in a super tight final 3-4 to Finnish side SSV Helsinki. This year they will look to bounce back as the Czech Champions, Tatran Stresovice from last season take on Sweden’s Cup champions and playoff runners up from the previous season in IBF Falun.
For Falun the Champions Cup finals are familiar territory. Already 5 time champions they are perfect, having never lost a CC final that they were a part of. Last season was another sensational year for the side from central Sweden who were Swedish cup winners and got to the SSL Playoffs final after finishing top of the league during the regular season. It didn’t end in perfection for the side who often play in pink as they lost out to one of their closest rivals in Storvreta in the final by a score of 4-5 halting a 3 year run of championships that Falun were on. You have to go back to the 2008/09 season to find a Swedish men’s champion not named Falun or Storvreta, such is the dominance of these two giants of Swedish floorball.
Falun have won 7 of the last 11 SSL championships and again are having a strong season in 2023/24 making the Swedish Cup finals and are 3rd in the SSL table. Led as ever by some of the brightest and best names in world floorball such as Malte Lundmark, Emil Ruud, Alexander Galante Carlström, Emil Johansson, Rasmus Enstrom and Johan Rehn in net to name a few. On paper it’s hard to look past the talent up and down this Falun roster and the Swedish side will be looking to add yet another Champions Cup trophy to their ever expanding cabinet.
Standing in Falun’s way and looking to create history of their own are Czech champions from last season Tatran Stresovice, who 12 years after making their one and only other appearance in the Men’s Champions Cup final back in 2012 are back for revenge. Tatran are a force to be reckoned with in Czech floorball and are the most successful club team in Czech floorball history with a staggering 17 championships since 1994. They are also a 3 time Czech Cup winner and can add to their tally as they reached the 2024 final to be played in February.
Last season was historic for Tatran as they went a perfect 26 wins from 26 games in the regular season before going on to win the Czech Playoff championships. In all of the 2022/23 season Tatran lost just 3 matches. 2 in the playoff semi finals against 2022/23 CC bronze medalists Mlada Boleslav and 1 in the Czech Cup semi finals against eventual champions Bohemians. They have continued their rich vein of form this season also, as they are currently top of the Czech league with only 3 losses in 20 games so far in the league and cruising relatively easy through to the Czech Cup final against Chodov. Czech floorball in general is seeing a youth revolution and Tatran are no different with several players under 23 being key contributors on this side such as Matej Havlas, Tomas Hanak, Jakub Bocek and goalkeeper Tomas Jurco complimented alongside more experienced players such as Marek Benes, Martin Kisugite and Martin Sindelar. This combination of youth and experience could be crucial to helping Tatran in their fight for a first ever CC title.
Both teams didn’t have the most simple and easy of journeys to the final however. Falun, winners of the North Division were relatively comfortable against Finnish side TPS winning 12-5 & 6-4 over two legs before their semi final matchup against arch rivals Storvreta. Both legs were drawn 5-5 and 4-4 respectively and with OT unable to seperate the two it went into a penalty shootout where Falun came out victorious with help from their Finnish netminder Santtu Strandberg blanking out Storvreta in the shootout and not letting in 1 goal from 4 attempts to send them back to the final for the 2nd year in a row. Tatran meanwhile came through the Southern Division victorious beating two of Switzerland’s best sides along the way in Köniz Bern in the First round 5-2 & 10-2 before defeating Swiss Champions SV Wiler Ersigen in the semi-finals in dramatic fashion in Overtime after two draws in both legs of the semi-finals. Scoring leaders from Falun are Malte Lundmark (5+2) and Emil Lundmark (4+3) in 4 games whilst for Tatran Jonas Kreysa (7+1) is the leading scorer.
Men’s Champions Cup 2024 final
Saturday 27th of January at 18:00 (CET) at UNYP Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Stream: IFF App