After starting the season with just three wins in their first 14 games, Linköping is hoping to turn things around and build off the momentum of their first back to back wins this season.
Team of the Week
It's no secret that Linköpings play so far this season has been less than stellar. Starting the week in last place with just 10 points LHC was at risk of falling behind the top ten even further this week with two tough matchups.
Their first games of the week was a matchup at home in SAAB Arena that saw them play host to HV71 in the second matchup of the season between those two teams. The first game of the season was a blowout 5-0 victory for HV71, so Linköping was hoping to return the favour. The first was a solid frame for the hometeam as Linköping was able to strike twice and gave up just one, sending the game 2-1 in to the second frame. Jumping out to a two goal lead in the 2nd was a bit concerning for Linköping fans as their team has had a notorious habit of giving up two goal leads this season. Unfortunately for them that is exactly what happened as pair of quick goals late in the second tied the game at three heading in to the final frame.
Despite giving up yet another two goal lead, Linköping came out hard and fast in the third, looking determined to bounce back, and that's exactly what they did. A pair of goals in the first five minutes of the third gave Linköping all they needed to hold on and come away with their first victory since October 12th and just their third regulation win of the season. However, their toughest test of the week was yet to come.
Although Rögle sat 2nd overall coming in to the matchup on Saturday, the team from Ängelholm has suffered three losses in their previous five games. Despite Rögles struggles it would still be a tough test for Linköping.
A quick goal from Rögle in the first immediately put Linköping in to a hole, but their top line would bail them out. With a combined nine points in their previous four games, Broc Little and Andrew Gordon would combined yet again for the game tying goal late in the first to send it in to the second all tied up. Another pair of goals, one from each team, in the second kept them game locked throughout the rest of regulation, meaning overtime was needed to find a winner.
The extra frame would need only a single shot to end it. Henrik Törnqvists shot with just 95 seconds elapsed in the frame would find the top corner for the win, giving Linköping their very first back to back wins of the season and grabbing a very important 2 points.
World Feed Game of the Week
Our English language World Feed game of the week came back on Tuesday night in Stockholm as Djurgården played host to Rögle.
The first period was fairly quiet with just one goal scored. However, it was a big goal for Daniel Zaar in particular as it marked his 100th career point here in the SHL. His one timer found its way past Niklas Svedberg on the man advantage to give Rögle the 1-0 lead heading in to the first intermission. The second period would prove to be a bit more... eventful.
The second frame was arguably the most entertaining of period of hockey so far this season. It all got kicked off with a goal from Nils Höglander that will be shown on highlight reels for years to come. After a beatiful move off the back of the net to himself to turn around Marcus Högström, Höglander picked the puck up on the blade of his stick and placed it top corner with the lacrosse style goal, or as it's known here in Sweden "The Zorro". This was just the start to a wild second period.
Rögle continued to roll as Daniel Zaar was able to force a turnover in the offensive zone and centered for Léon Bristedt who made a beautiful move to the backhand to beat Svedberg up high. Djurgårdens woes, unfortunately, were far from over. Djurgården was awarded a powerplay, unfortunately for them it would not turn out well. Both Erik Andersson and Taylor Matson were able to score shorthanded just 22 seconds apart to give Rögle the 5-0 lead. This also signaled the end of the night for Niklas Svedberg who would be replaced by Kari Rämö. Djurgården finally had a little bit of hope as they were able to score on a scramble play just 27 second after they gave up the second shorthanded goal. Three goals scored on the same two minute minor powerplay is not something you see all that often.
The second period finished with a bit more excitement as Daniel Zaar raced for the puck in to the offensive zone only to be greeted by Kari Rämö who came way out of his net to challenge him and threw a pretty decnet body check, wiping out Zaar along the halfboards. The game would head to the third 5-1 in favour of Rögle.
Despite the frantic and wild second period the third would prove to be a bit more tame as neither team was able to find the back of the net. Djurgården peppered Roman Will with 16 shots on target, looking for any chance of a comeback, but Will stood tall and turned aside all chances. The third finsihed the same as the second and Rögle came away with the 5-1 victory.
Check out full game highlights here: