We were all waiting for the first meeting between Brynäs and Luleå Hockey/MSSK this season and we were not disappointed by the fireworks that were on display on Sept. 26.
After the dust settled from the weekend’s eight games of SDHL action, Brynäs is the lone undefeated team left in the league. Led by the superb playmaking of Katerina Mrazova — who now has one goal and 11 assists in five games — and the speed and skill of Lara Stalder, Brynäs has won five consecutive games after besting MODO by a score of 5-3 on Friday and Luleå by a score of 7-4. Yes, you read that right. Brynäs put up seven goals — the last of which was an empty-netter — on Luleå.
Adding intrigue to Brynäs’ blistering start is the fact that they have a 4.76 percent success rate on the power play. So, yeah, this isn’t even their final form. Something tells me they will finish the season with a better goal differential on the power play than 0, which is where they are currently stuck after allowing a shorty and scoring just once on 21 opportunities. Absolutely bizarre.
Despite the tough sledding on the advantage, Brynäs has a +14 goal differential through five games, which tells the story of just how good they’ve been at even strength. Unsurprisingly, their 15.34 percent shooting is the best in the league by a significant margin but their PDO at all strengths is “only” at 103.25 thanks to a .879 team save percentage. Moving forward, we should keep an eye on that number. Needless to say, they won’t score half a dozen goals in every game, but their offense is only matched by Luleå in both quantity and quality.
Next up for Brynäs is HV71 and Göteborg — so we know they will have at least six wins after next weekend. Sorry, Göteborg. But c’mon. We all know what’s going to happen on Sunday.
Here are three performances worthy of hardware from the last week of SDHL action.
1. Anna Meixner (Brynäs) had 0 goals in 3 games heading into the weekend. She now has 5 goals in 5 games as a result of scoring five goals across four periods, starting with a two-goal third period against MODO before Brynäs’ big win over LHF. This is Meixner’s second season in the SDHL — she scored 10 goals in 17 games in 2016-17 with HV71. If she stays on the top line look out. Meixner. She’s so hot right now.
2. Leksand gave Luleå a scare thanks to a great performance from goaltender Eveliina Suonpaa who had a 36-save performance in a 2-1 loss on Sunday. Suonpaa has a .933 Sv% in three starts but has come away with just win for Leksand. Picking her up from Linköping before the 2020-21 season is starting to look like a huge win for Leksand.
3. It’s not every week where we get to a put a spotlight on Göteborg, so let’s take a moment to appreciate Frida Axell. She had a 51-save performance to earn her team their first point of the season in a 3-2 shootout loss against Linköping on Sunday. Making 51 saves on 53 shots is pretty damn good for a 19-year-old.