The first international break of the season is upon us and with that, we look back at this past week of play in the SHL, where Oskarshamn made the headlines in a big way.
With all that went down this past spring, IK Oskarshamn remained in the SHL and they are making the most of their opportunity. This past week, they were the only team with more than one game played that came away with a jackpot.
On Tuesday Oskarshamn overcame Frölunda in a 3-2 win, with recent signing Oscar Sundh scoring his first goal in his new team. And Sundh seemed to enjoy scoring. He went on to score twice in the next game as Oskarshamn took down Skellefteå with a nice 3-1 win in Skellefteå, making it the third game out of a possible three that Oskarshamn comes away with points in Skellefteå since their promotion to the SHL (two wins and an overtime loss). Oskarshamn are now on a three game win streak.
As for Skellefteå, they had a rough outing, losing all three games during the week, only coming away with one point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Malmö Redhawks. That extended their winless streak to four games.
In what has been a bit of a stealth move in the standings, Örebro seem to have found their groove again. Despite a 3-1 loss to Frölunda on Thursday, they did advance and now sit in third place. This is thanks to a 3-0 win against Brynäs Tuesday and a 3-2 win against Skellefteå Saturday, where we saw goalie Jhonas Enroth saving the game on a few occasions. Enroth got the nod in net despite Jonas Arntzen having posted the only shutout of the week in the league Tuesday, when he turned away all 18 shots against Brynäs. Against Skellefteå, Enroth turned away 30 out of 32 shots.
The rollercoaster season of Färjestad continues. A slow start to their game against Rögle resulted in yet another loss, 2-5. On a bright note, though, young defensive prospect Albert Johansson scored a beauty of a goal, coming in tight lifting a backhand in net. And Johansson was to be found in-tight on Saturday again, when he potted his third of the season scoring against Malmö. Färjestad went up 2-0 but Malmö came back before Jesse Virtanen scored the game-winner in a game where all three Färjestad goals came from D-men with Jens Westin also finding the net.
HV71 broke their streak without a win, and points, away from home Tuesday when they visited Leksand and came away with 3-1 win.They then followed this up by beating rival Växjö Lakers 3-2 (OT) at home Tuesday, but couldn't keep the streak going Saturday when they lost to the same Lakers in Växjö 6-3. Despite the loss, HV71 now sits ninth with a three point cushion down to eleventh placed Brynäs. And looking at the player stats for the week, it is easy to see the guys who were driving the Jönköping team forward during the games. Out of the five players in the league who scored four points or more last week, four are HV71 players: Eric Martinsson (0-4--4), Johannes Kinnvall (1-3--4), Linus Fröberg (2-2--4) and Alexander Bergström (1-4--5), with the fifth player being Joel Persson of Växjö (1-3--4).
Last but definitely not least: Örebro defenseman Kristian Näkyvä is set for a return to hockey after the international break. Näkyvä was diagnosed with testicular cancer in February. Already in May, doctors told him he'd be able to play again and after practising with a few other players back home in Finland he has rejoined Örebro, where he will practice with the team during the coming week. If all goes to plan, we could see Näkyvä on the ice again when Örebro play Växjö. He is thereby set to make is sixth SHL season, having played one season with Luleå in 2014-15 before moving to North America. In 2016, he came back to Sweden, joining Linköping where he played for two seasons before moving to Örebro in 2018.