With two regulation time victories this week, Rögle pulls within striking distance of the top three.
Team of the Week
Having strung together four wins in a row and claiming a full six points this week, Rögle now sits just three points back of Frölunda and Färjestad. An opportunity to move back into the top three is now well within their grasp if they're able to continue their success.
They kicked off the week with a rare Monday game, and the final game day of 2019, at home against Djurgården. Coming into the game, Rögle had had great success against the team from Stockholm, winning both matchups this season by a combined score of 7-2.
Determined to avenge their previous two losses Djurgården came out hard in the first and scored the early go ahead goal less than 90 seconds in to the period. They didn't let up either as they peppered the net with a total of 15 shots in the first frame. However, just the one goal was all they could muster as the game headed to the first intermission 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
Both teams mustered plenty of chances over the final 40 minutes, but it was Rögle who would prove to be the better team. An early goal in the second and a pair of goals from Daniel Zaar in the third was more than enough to hand Djurgården their third straight loss to Rögle. It was also the third time this season that Djurgården failed to score more than one goal against Rögle, due in no small part to Roman Will, who turned away 36 of the 37 shots he faced.
Rögles second matchup of the week was a much more important game, as far as standings are concerned, as they faced off against an Indians team that they trailed by just six points. Frölunda, just like Djurgården, was looking for their first win of the season against Rögle as both previous matchups were won by a score of 2-1 for Rögle.
Coming up against a Frölunda team that has had great success at home was going to be no easy task for Rögle. They were unphased by the road game however, as they managed to hold The Indians to just four shots on net in the first and rippled the mesh to give themselves the 1-0 lead heading in to the second frame.
Frölunda came out firing in the second, managing 16 shots on net, none of which were able to find their way home. Despite being heavily outshot in the second, Rögle still managed to ripple the mesh thanks to a short handed goal by Hampus Gustafsson. Rögles 2-0 lead was just enough for them to hold on as a goal from Frölunda with just over six minutes remaining in the third was as close as they would come. Yet again the Indians fell 2-1 to Rögle. With the win, Rögle broke The Indians win streak and extended their own to four.
Rögle will look to continue their success this week with matchups against Brynäs and Leksand on Thursday and Saturday.
Game of the Week
Our game of the week came back on Saturday evening in Malmö as the Redhawks played host to Örebro in the third matchup of the season between the two teams.
Coming into the game the Redhawks were on a bit of a hotstreak with four wins in their previous five. However, Örebro was hoping to break a 3 game losing skid.
The first period kicked off with goal that came on the heels of some great end to end action. A chance for The Redhawks turned into a partial break away the other way for Örebro. A nice save by Oscar Alsenfelt kicked off a fast break for Malmö that ended with Fredrik Storm rippling the mesh to give the Redhawks the 1-0 lead. The intense pace would continue as Malmö was awarded the man advantage, but it was Mathias Bromé, fresh out of the box, that would capitalize on the breakaway to tie the game at one goal a piece. Neither team would concede another goal in the frame and the game would head to the second all locked at one.
The frantic pace continued in the second as both teams generated chances. However it was Örebro who would break the deadlock. Ryan Stoa sent a nice feed out front and Mathias Bromé potted his second of the game and team leading 12th goal of the season to give Örebro the lead. Malmö would generated a couple of good chances in the frame, but were unable to ripple the mesh and Örebro carried the 2-1 lead into the final frame of regulation.
Neither team would generate a whole lot of chances in the third frame, as they were both held to just six shots a piece. But it was Johan Olofsson, with one of the best individual efforts of the season, who was able to get it all tied up. Olofsson collected the puck in the far corner, did a full lap of the offensive zone and the tucked it past Dominik Furch to force the extra frame.
Both teams had a chance to win it very early in the extra frame, but it was Örebro who would capitalize. A great scoring chance for Malmö and a save by Furch created a breakaway opportunity for Shane Harper who made no mistake as he ripped home the game winner. With the win Örebro now sits just two points back of both Frölunda and Färjestad.
Check out full game highlights here:
There was no change in the top three this week as Luleå, Frölunda and Färjestad remain first, second and third. With their recent success Örebro moves into fourth, Rögle takes over fifth and HV71 gets knocked in to sixth. The only change in the bottom of the top ten this week is Malmö moving in to eigth and knocking Djurgården down to ninth. Brynäs, Linköping, Leksand and Oskarshamn continue to occupy the bottom of the standings.
Check out this weeks top goals: