Loyal Göteborg fans found an extra gift waiting for them under the tree the day after Christmas. After going winless through the first 22 games of the 2020-21 season, Göteborg finally tasted victory thanks to a 40-save performance by goaltender Frida Axell against Leksand. The first game-winning goal of Göteborg’s season was scored by youngster Jennifer Carlsson.
Carlsson, 20, scored the go-ahead goal to break a 1-1 tie with Leksand with just over seven minutes left in regulation. Louisa Lippiatt Durnell hammered the final nail into the unlikely victory when she buried an empty-net goal to push Göteborg’s lead to 3-1 with 124 seconds left on the clock.
Entering Saturday’s win, Göteborg had averaged just one goal and 19.22 SOG per game. So, when they led 1-0, courtesy of a goal by Tereza Radizova, and put 10 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes of the game it was something of a surprise. But make no mistake, the key performer for Göteborg was Axell.
Axell made 15 saves in the first and third periods and 10 more in the second, allowing only one goal to Kajsa Armbog. Her first of the season and improved her record to 1-10 and her save percentage to .891 through 640:54 of action. Needless to say, this was the best performance of the 19-year-old’s season to date.
Unfortunately for Leksand, things didn’t get better on Sunday. They were shellacked 9-0 by HV71 after allowing four goals in the third period. Yikes.
Here are three performances worthy of hardware from the last week of SDHL action.
- Five different players on HV71 turned in three-point performances in the club’s 9-0 beatdown of Leksand on Dec. 27. However, defender Mira Markström deserves extra recognition for scoring two goals in the third period and picking up a secondary assist in the second period. Markström’s three-point performance matched her total production from her rookie season (20 GP) in the SDHL last year with HV71. Oh, by the way, she’s 15.
- Leading MVP candidate Lara Stalder had a goal and four assists on Saturday against HV71 and three more assists on Sunday against Göteborg to cap off an eight-point weekend. Six of Stalder’s seven assists were primary. The 40 assists she has this season are the most she’s ever had in an SDHL campaign and would be good enough to be fourth in the league in scoring. Of course, she also has 21 goals, which is tied with Kateřina Mrázová for the league lead.
- The marvelous Mrázová turned in a three-assist performance for Brynäs on Sunday after picking up an assist on Saturday. She now has 34 assists and 55 points in 51 games this season. As a result of her four-point weekend, the Czech star has eclipsed her production from last season (51). Mrázová is second in the SDHL scoring, behind only her linemate, Lara Stalder./