There have been 10 games played since last we checked in on the SDHL and Eveliina Suonpää has moved from Leksand to Brynäs. That’s a lot to break down, so let’s focus the spotlight on a big performance by one of the best North American skaters in the SDHL.
HV71 won both of its games this week after being dismantled by MODO by a score of 6-3 last Sunday. Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Göteborg was relatively smooth sailing but Wednesday’s battle against Linköping was a different matter. Thankfully for HV71, Kennedy Marchment was her usual dominant self.
Marchment scored twice in the contest against her former team, which is hardly headline-grabbing for a player of her caliber, but it was the way she scored her goals that earns her our headline this week.
The Canadian’s first goal of the game — her 24th of the season — came in the first period on a penalty shot when HV71 was already up 1-0. Marchment earned the penalty shot by working her way through a cluster of three Linköping defenders that slashed at her as she cut her way to the net. The penalty shot itself was textbook. A rip low to the glove side that Stephanie Neatby is still looking for.
Carly Bullock and Jennifer Wakefield scored for Linköping in the second and third periods, respectively, to send the game to overtime. Wakefield then took a costly penalty in overtime which set the stage for Marchment to once again steal the show.
Parked in front of the net on the power play, she tipped a point shot by Sidney Morin home through the wickets of Neatby to win the game in sudden death. It was her 25th goal of the 2020-21 campaign.
She just keeps scoring which is keeping her in striking distance of SDHL leading scorer Lara Stalder (69). But how is she scoring? With the help of InStat, let’s take a look at where Marchment is putting pucks and scoring goals in her last 10 games.
I think it’s safe to say that Marchment likes to go glove side and you can see why. Which, if you remember, is where she went on her penalty shot.
Marchment, 24, is now one point shy of her SDHL career-best of 64 points set last year with HV71. She has also matched her goal total from her first year playing pro hockey in Sweden and is now one point shy of reaching 180 points in three seasons. Simply put, she’s been one of the best players in the SDHL the moment she stepped onto the ice three seasons ago with Linköping.
- Linköping’s Stephanie Neatby had a stellar performance against MODO on Sunday. Neatby allowed a power-play goal — scored by Lina Ljungblom — in the first period. Then she simply closed the door while the skaters in front of her scored three consecutive goals. Neatby finished the game with 43 saves — good for a .977 save percentage — and was perfect at even strength. Neatby also had a 47-save performance in a losing effort to Luleå on Saturday. She now leads the league with a .942 Sv% through 1257:35 of ice time.
- Overall, it was a rough week for AIK. They dropped games against Leksand and Brynäs on Friday and Sunday but they did start the week out with a win. A big win. With the score knotted at 1-1 late in the final minute of the third period, AIK went on a 5-on-3 power play and Emmy Alasalmi delivered. With just 23 seconds left on the clock, Alasalmi blasted home a slap shot from the top of the umbrella formation to secure AIK’s win. It was her fourth goal of the season, which is three more goals than she scored in 2019-20 for AIK.
- Denisa Křížová had a goal and an assist for Brynäs against SDE on Thursday and a goal and two assists against AIK on Friday. It can be easy to overlook Křížová’s impact because she’s fifth on Brynäs in scoring but she’s quietly had a rock-solid season. She’s now up to 13 goals and 16 assists, making her a point-per-game player for the second consecutive season with Brynäs.
All data courtesy of InStat, SDHL.se, and EliteProspects.com.