This past week, we had some great hockey action with an American player making history and a veteran goalie really making his mark on his team and in the league. Here's what went down.
Växjö Lakers started last week in the same fashion as they finished the week before; By shutting teams out. Beginning with the 3-0 win against Malmö on November 26th, Viktor Fasth had three straight shutouts. On Tuesday, the Lakers mashed Frölunda with a huge 8-0 win, thanks to a massive five goal second period. Recent signing Andrew Calof notched four assists and Emil Pettersson had two goals and an assist.
They then followed it up by beating Linköping 3-0 on Saturday before falling to Rögle, 4-2, Sunday.
With those three shutouts, Fasth now sits tied in first place for shutouts in the season with Niklas Rubin of Frölunda. Frölunda, by the way, overcame the 8-0 loss and won their other game of the week, against Rögle, 3-2.
Linköping also came in to the week luke warm with a win and turned hot thanks to coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win in overtime against Malmö Tuesday. Broc Little scored twice, both the game tying goal and the game winner. That game winner was his 23rd game winning goal in the SHL, which is now an American record in the SHL. He added to this by scoring another game winner against Rögle on Thursday, when Linköping won 2-1. Linköping then saw their streak come to an end with the aforementioned 3-0 game in Växjö.
No team playing more than one game went undefeated in the week, with five teams winning two out of three games. Other than Linköping and Växjö, Leksand, Djurgården, Luleå and HV71 got two wins in three games. Färjestad won the one game they played, a 4-3 shootout victory against Skellefteå.
On the other end of the scale, Malmö are struggling. The Redhawks are on a five game losing streak and on two occasions they've had a two-goal lead. Even worse, Brynäs have lost eight out of their nine last games, grabbing four out of a possible 27 points. As a result, they are now firmly involved in the bottom part of the league, with five points up to Linköping on safer grounds. The Redhawks are last with 15 points, one behind Brynäs. What's troublesome is that they have two more games played than both Brynäs and Linköping.
On top of the standings, Frölunda remain in first place with Rögle chasing them in second. Frölunda have 41 points in 22 games, but Rögle are just three points behind with four games in hand and thanks to the hot play by Viktor Fasth Växjö are now in third place. After a sloppy game in Leksand, Luleå now sits fourth, leaving Dalarna with 6-3 loss.
On the player side of things, five players had five points in the week. Emil Pettersson (Växjö) had three goals and two assist. Peter Cehlarik (Leksand), Joel Persson (Växjö) and Niklas Hansson (Rögle) had two goals and three assist each while Markus Ljungh (Linköping) had one goal and four assist. Other than Pettersson, teammate Richard Gynge and Linköping´s Broc Little had three goals. Other than Ljungh and the aforementioned Andrew Calof, Jonas Junland of Linköping notched four assists in the week.
This coming week we have 21 games to look forward to. Örebro looks to be back in action Tuesday when they take on Leksand. On Tuesday, the second E4 Highway Derby between Linköping and HV71 is set to be played in Linköping. Other than that we have an interesting game between Malmö and Oskarshamn in Malmö where one of the two can grab a much-needed win to kind of reboost their season.