2012-01-05 18:30:00 | Teams
Hockey lovers, a big night is ahead of us. The hockey fever has spread throughout the country and after six exciting games in Elitserien, we’ll wait for the final in The World Junior Championship in Canada, broadcasted Thursday night Swedish time.
While you wait, we recommend you to check out Elitserien Play where you’ll find highlights, interviews and much more. As usual!
Ahead of tonights game against local rivals MODO, Hockeyligan.se asked Timrå IK:s forward Simon Önerud to share his impressions of teammate Max Friberg that has taken the tournament in Canada with charm: Team Sweden’s best goal scorer has found the net nine times so far.
"It’s nice for him to be able to show the rest of the country that he’s a damn good goal scorer", Simon Önerud told us.
Are you surprised?
"No. I’ve seen him on practice every day and I’ve played a lot with him as well. The bounces haven’t been in favor of him so far, but ultimately things will turn around if you work hard for it. I’m not surprised, but him scoring nine goals was perhaps something I would not have predicted, however I don’t think he would have believed in that himself either!"
Hockeyligan.se wishes our National Team "Juniorkronorna" all the best in tonight’s final against Team Russia!
2012-01-06 05:00:00 | Teams
We had to wait until early morning Swedish time to get a winner, but eventually we got our hero: Mika Zibanejad.
Djurgårdens IF:s forward converted an open chance in OT and secured Team Swedens’s first gold medal in The Junior World Championships since 1981.
58 shots on goals against 17, 1 goal against 0 and a well deserved victory looking at it from a Swedish perspective. Thanks everyone for the show!
Photo: Andy Devlin / HHOF-IIHF Images
2012-02-07 19:00:00 | Teams
Oddset Hockey Games is approaching and Elitserien is on a short break here in Sweden. Ten or nine games remain before we can summarize and see which teams will keep fighting in either SM-slutspelet (the playoffs, team 1-8 in the standings) or Kvalserien (team 11 and 12 from Elitserien and four teams from HockeyAllsvenskan competing for two spots in next years edition of Elitserien).
The same people who said it was a tight and close race of 55 game days last season say it's even closer now. Only 13 points separate HV71 in 5th place from Linköping in 11th, so it's safe to say that every team in between are facing a spectacular finish until the very last game day, March 6.
Starting from the top of the standings, you'll find three teams that have performed on a consistent level during a longer period of time. We're talking about Luleå, Skellefteå and Brynäs that have altered on the three top positions for most of the season.
While Luleå has mainly been praised as a very hard working group that is extremely hard to break through, Brynäs and Skellefteå are better known for their speedy ice hockey scoring a lot of goals. Brynäs is statistically the best team in power play as well as the team that has scored most goals in Elitserien so far.
Frölunda is tailing the top three teams in the standings, mainly thanks to a great start and a great performance in 2012. The team from Göteborg (Gothenburg) experienced some problems with injuries on key players (Joel Lundqvist, Magnus Kahnberg and goalkeeper Frederik Andersen) and suffered a lot for that in the rink. Now, those players are back and the results have logically improved dramatically.
Joel Lundqvist with a specially designed protection against his injured jaw. Photo: Per Friske - Pic-Agency Sweden
HV71 scored a lot of goals in a period of time during the autumn, but something has changed in the club from Jönköping. While the number of goals is significantly lower, same actually goes for goals against. A big reason is goalkeeper Daniel Larsson, who has stepped up his game during the last weeks.
Färjestad, AIK and MODO are placed 6th, 7th and 8th which means they are currently holding the three last spots in the playoffs. While the supporters of defending champions Färjestad certainly expected their team to quite comfortably qualify for the playoffs this season, AIK- and MODO-fans were perhaps more prepared to fight in the "other end" of the table, just like last season.
Just before the current break, AIK defeated MODO 5 goals to 1 in a game that could prove crucial when we summarize in March.
Växjö Lakers and Djurgården are currently in 9th and 10th place, meaning their season would end, but while only one point separate the newcomer Växjö from a place in the playoffs, two points seperate Djurgården, finalist in 2009/2010, from a place among the eight best.
Växjö Lakers has recently signed Czech Republic's Karel Pilar and Tomas Netik from KHL-team Lev Poprad in order to achieve the best possible finish.
Växjö Lakers' new signing Karel Pilar. Photo: Sami Grahn/Pic-Agency.com
Djurgården's gap to Linköping on 11th place is currently 3 points while Timrå on 12th place are 21 points behind Djurgården on 10th place. With only 30 points remaning to compete for, Timrå's fans probably already have their minds set on how they're going to survive Kvalserien.
Starting on Tuesday next week, we have a spectacular finish of this race that is Elitserien and we can promise you it's probably going to be the closest of all times. Fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
2012-02-29 10:00:00 | Teams
We're recovering from an exciting day yesterday when Djurgården beat Linköping after a penalty shootout and took the extra point in Johanneshov, 2-1. The game was crucial in the fight to avoid Kvalserien (relegation playoffs) and it wasn't really a surprise that the spectators in Johenneshov in Stockholm got to see two cautious teams that did not want to give away anything.
Robin Figren opened the score late in the second period, and Mathias Tjärnqvist killed a long goalless streak when he made it 1-1 in power play in the third. Djurgården's David Printz hit the post in overtime before Pontus Åberg and Mario Kempe converted their penalties while only Pär Arlbrandt did for Linköping.
Defending champions Färjestad secured their spot in the playoffs thanks to a 3-2-victory to Växjö Lakers at home. The team from Karlstad has been in great form lately and has gone from fighting for the playoffs to fight for a top 4-spot, meaning home advantage in a potential seventh game in the quarter final series.
AIK as well most likely secured their spot in the playoff thanks to a 4-2 win at Brynäs in Gävle. It's not mathematically safe just yet but everything points in that direction since the capitals are nine points ahead of Växjö Lakers below outside of the playoffs with three games remaining. In addition, AIK:s goal difference is way better.
Luleå climbed one step further toward winning Elitserien by beating Timrå 7 goals to 2 at home. One of the issues in Luleå this season has been the inefficiency in front of goal in some games, so it's safe to say that the team from Norrbotten got themselves a great confidence boost yesterday.
2012-03-07 00:10:00 | Teams
An emotional evening with both tears of joy and tears of sadness is over, just like Elitserien 2011/2012 is. It was a close race all the way until the end but the headlines of the day are that MODO secured the last playoff-spot, while Linköping managed to avoid Kvalserien, where Djurgården will go.
Linköping did so thanks to Pär Arlbrandt’s equalizer, 4-4, just 1:12 from time in the game against MODO in Örnsköldsvik. Djurgården lost to HV71, 1-2, and will therefore play together with Timrå in Kvalserien, a league of six teams that'll fight for two spots in Elitserien 2012/2013.
Växjö lost to Luleå, 1-4, meaning that their season is finished, just like Linköping's. Luleå on the other hand added 3 points to 97 to make it 100.
After the games, CANAL+ broadcasted the process in which the head coaches of teams 1-3 in the standings got to choose their opponents in the quarter finals. Here are the results:
Luleå – AIK (series starts Saturday)
Skellefteå – MODO (series starts Saturday)
HV71 – Färjestad (series starts Sunday)
Brynäs – Frölunda (series starts Sunday)
The quarter finals are decided in best-of-seven series. Reed more about them in here tomorrow!
2012-03-07 13:18:00 | Teams
The Le Mat-trophy. Photo: Tobias Josefsson
Elitserien 2011/2012 is over and eight teams now remain in the playoffs, or "SM-slutspelet" as we say in Sweden. CANAL+ broadcasted the process in which teams 1-3 in the standings got to choose their oppositions in the quarter finals and here are some reactions from the head coaches:
Jonas Rönnqvist, Luleå, chose AIK:
"I can honestly say that I personally think it was extremely hard to choose. But we thought AIK was best because of the travels, it was easier than the other options. In addition, we have amazing fans down in Stockholm that deserves a chance to follow a great quarter final series".
Anders Forsberg, Skellefteå, chose MODO:
"We have great stats against MODO and the travels to Örnsköldsvik are convenient. It's going to be a great battle of Norrland and we really look forward to it. It has been close games against MODO and it’s going to be seven games, we’re prepared for that."
Ulf Dahlén, HV71, chose Färjestad:
"It’s very tough to choose, but we finished 3:rd and will play the team that finished 6:th. To win the playoffs you need to beat every team and we see it as a great challenge to start against the defending champions."
Tommy Jonsson, Brynäs, is facing Frölunda:
"Exciting. Frölunda is a great team that plays a nice hockey. We have great support from the fans down in Göteborg as well so that's very inspiring. Why we have lost 4 games against them this season is something I won't analyze here, but that's history now. We're entering a new period, a new world."
In the other end of the table, Djurgården had a tough night. The team from Stockholm lost to HV71 and will have to survive Kvalserien, a series of six teams fighting for two spots in Elitserien 2012/2013, to save the season. CANAL+ asked head coach Tony Zabel how he felt:
"In some way you feel terrible. We've lost a game in which it was all up to us. The key now is to keep calm and continue to work, look into the future and see that we're going to make this."
2012-03-19 13:45:00 | Teams
AIK to the semi finals
Winner of Elitserien with 100 points. But the playoff is something that Luleå certainly will try to forget as soon as possible. AIK stunned the team from Norrbotten and won four straight games after losing the first one, making it 4-1 in the series. Thanks to a 3-0-victory yesterday, AIK advanced to the semi finals as the first team - just like last year, when they beat HV71 in four straight games. The club is now entering a phase of training and rest ahead of the semi finals starting next week.
"We've raised our game every night during this series. Today (yesterday), we played a fantastic game. It feels really nice to be in the semi finals", AIK:s goalkeeper Viktor Fasth told the clubs website.
AIK:s Viktor Fasth in action against Luleå. Photo: Fredrik Sundvall, Pic-Agency.com.
A rollercoaster for the fans, to say the least. And a series with two great goalkeepers in Joacim Eriksson (Skellefteå) and Mikael Tellqvist (MODO). Skellefteå kickstarted with two victories and an impressive win, 4-0, away from home in the second game. People were talking about four straight victories, but thanks to two overtime-wins MODO equalized and made it 2-2. The team coached by former NHL-defender Ulf Samuelsson had the lead in yesterdays fight quarter final as well, but Skellefteå managed to turn it around and won 2-1 to make it 3-2 in the series.
Match point Skellefteå in Örnsköldsvik tomorrow.
Jimmie Ericsson, Skellefteå's captain, scored the winning goal yesterday. Photo: Foto Bert Söderström. Pic-Agency.com.
It started off with three very tight and close games and everyone expected the same scenario in Göteborg on Saturday. Everyone but Jakob Silfverberg. Brynäs producing forward had a fantastic night in Scandinavium and lead, together with goalkeeper Niklas Svedberg, his Brynäs to a 5-0-victory, the greatest so far in the playoffs.
Frölunda is pushed into a corner and need to win three straight games in order to avoid an early vacation. Next stop: Gävle, tonight.
Everyone wanted to talk with Jakob Silfverberg after the game in Scandinavium on Saturday. In the backgrounds: Frölunda's captain Joel Lundqvist. Photo: Per Friske, Pic-Agency Sweden.
The clash of the titans has been as interesting and hard to predict as pretty much everyone expected. Färjestad started in the best possible way by winning two straight games and forced an overtime-winner from HV71:s Jesse Joenssu in the third game, a goal that could prove crucial when it's time to summarize. Instead of 0-3, HV71 made it 1-2 and equalized Saturday evening after turning 2-3 to 5-3 in Karlstad. Next rond: tonight.
HV71:s Jason Krog celebrates a goal against Färjestad. Photo: Simone Syversson Pic Agency.com.
2012-03-21 23:00:00 | Teams
Brynäs vs Färjestad and Skellefteå vs AIK. Those are the semi final series starting on Monday.
It all came down to the last 27 seconds of the thrid period in Scandinavium in Göteborg when Brynäs's Jonathan Granström equalized and forced overtime in the sixth game. Earlier that period, Fredrik Pettersson had missed a penalty when the home side was ahead, 3 goals to 1. But Brynäs fought back and when Jakob Silfverberg's shot bounced off the back on goalkeeper Frederik Andersen and across the line 04:23 into the overtime, the team from Gävle could celebrate a 4-2-victory in the series.
The home fans in Karlstad only got to see two goals in the sixth game in Färjestad's series against HV71, but the first one decided the entire series. Hannes Hyvönen's shot deflected Marcus Paulsson and found its way into the back of the net behind Daniel Larsson already in the first period. In a physical and heated game, HV71 created a lot of opportunity's to equalize but Färjestad's goalkeeper Cristopher Nihlstorp denied them 30 times. And when he didn't, Jason Krog's wristshot hit the bar AND post. Defending champions Färjestad are through to the semi finals and celebrated with the fans after the game, holding up a banner saying "Vi är Färjestad" - "We are Färjestad".
Luleå - AIK 1-4
HV71 - Färjestad 2-4
Brynäs - Frölunda 4-2
Skellefteå - MODO 4-2
Skellefteå - AIK
Brynäs - Färjestad