The laws that seemingly once governed the universe have vanished like cotton candy being dipped into water. After going winless through its first 22 games of the 2020-21 SDHL season, Göteborg has now won three of its last four games as a result of sweeping its first weekend with victories over SDE and AIK.
Against all odds, Göteborg is on the verge of climbing out of the basement and now has more regulation wins (3) than Leksand (2). For the time being, the SDHL’s perennial underdogs remain in 10th place because they have played one more game (26) than Leksand (25) but the two clubs are now level in points (11) as we enter the New Year.
On Saturday, Klára Seroiszková, a rookie 19-year-old defender, and Frida Axell led the way in a 2-0 win over SDE. Seroiszková scored twice — her first two goals of the season — and Axell earned every bit of a 28-save shutout in the upset in which Göteborg was out-shot 28-18.
On Sunday, goaltender Nicole Jackson stopped 30 of the 33 shots she faced and kept her team alive until Göteborg’s frequently anemic offense roared into life in the third period. AIK entered the third with a 2-0 lead with goals from Vendula Pribylova and Denise Husak Asp but watched it disappear like so much dissolving cotton candy when Göteborg scored three consecutive goals in just over nine minutes in the first half of the third. The slick stickhandling of Lisa Johansson tied the game for AIK less than a minute after Göteborg’s third goal but the underdogs would not be denied.
Hannah Clayton Carrol scored her seventh of the season with 6:23 left in regulation and Axell closed the door to lock up Göteborg’s third victory in four games.
There was no singular hero for Göteborg this weekend. Seroiszková came away with three points (2 G, 1 A) and Axell turned in another gem but Sunday’s game was truly a team win. All four of the club’s goals were scored at even strength and the only skater with a multi-point performance was Louisa Lippiatt Durnell, who had two secondary assists. That’s right. Göteborg had depth scoring.
Before we get too excited it’s important to note that this team still has a -83 goal differential in 26 games of hockey and has scored more than two goals in just five games this season — Sunday’s 4-3 win was the highest-scoring game of the year for Göteborg. Hopefully, this unexpected surge will give a team with an average age of 21.7 some much-needed confidence. A more competitive Göteborg club would be great news for the SDHL and the league’s parity.
Here are three performances worthy of hardware from the last week of SDHL action.
- Michela Cava powered Luleå to a 7-1 win over AIK with a four-point performance that included points in all three periods. Cava, 26, is now one point shy of matching her 44-point total last year with Brynäs. She still has some work to do to catch up to her single-season SDHL best of 64 points — set in 2018-19 with MODO — but she’s clearly done an exceptional job filling the big skates left by the departure of Michelle Karvinen./
- Defender Sidney Morin had a hat trick and a five-point game for HV71 on Saturday in their 7-1 clobbering of AIK. Just for good measure, Morin added her fourth goal of the weekend on Sunday in HV71’s 3-1 win over SDE. She now has 13 goals and 28 assists in 25 games this season. For those who might be uncertain, those are simply outrageous numbers for a defender in a league of this caliber.
- It was a very tough week for AIK. Before losing to Göteborg on Sunday, AIK dropped games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. In four games last week AIK scored four goals and were shutout by MODO and HV71. Their chances of moving up the standings look grim now that they are seven points behind seventh-place SDE, who have two games in hand./