Dam Good: Luleå pulls into first place

It’s still a three-horse race for first, but Luleå is the new leader of the pack

After last weekend’s SDHL action, Luleå was in second place in the league standings looking over their shoulder at a red-hot HV71. Today, they find themselves in first place with 52 points in the standings after a three-win week.

Luleå started their big week with a 3-0 win over MODO on Tuesday thanks to a 20-save shutout from Tindra Holm. Saturday’s highly anticipated showdown with HV71 was lopsided in the shot differential (38 to 19 in favor of Luleå) but was a tight 2-1 game. The game-winning tally was scored by Petra Nieminen 8:42 into the third after she picked up an assist on the game-tying goal in the second period.

Finally, on Sunday, Luleå made easy work of Göteborg in a 4-1 win in which they out-shot the home team by a margin of 62-14. The highlight of that third win of the week had to be Jenni Hiirikoski’s two-goal second period which included a penalty-shot goal on Nicole Jackson. Jackson made 58 saves against LHC, but couldn’t stop Hiirikoski’s blocker-side quick release.

Cava also scored twice on Sunday and now has 16 goals on the season. She’s now up to 36 points in 20 games in her first season with Luleå. Thus far, Cava has done an admirable job replacing Michelle Karvinen in the lineup. She leads her new team in goals, points, and shots (95).

Last Week’s Dam Good by Mike Murphy

Brynäs is now behind Luleå in the standings with 48 points but does have a game in hand over the league’s new top team. Next up for Luleå is Djurgården on Saturday and Linköping on Sunday.

Three Crowns

Here are three performances worthy of hardware from the last week of SDHL action.

  • Andrea Dalen went on a tear in Djurgården’s 5-1 win over AIK on Sunday. She had two goals and two primary assists. The Norwegian veteran is showing flashes of the form she had when she was a 40-point player in the SDHL two years ago. Picking up four primary points in a single game is a clear indicator that she’s bounced back after her scoring dipped in 2019-20.
  • Rhyen McGill scored an overtime game-winning goal against SDE on Sunday to give Linköping a crucial 2-1 win. The goal was McGill’s seventh of the season and came after she earned a primary assist on the game-tying goal early in the third. Thus far, she’s been playing like a star in her first season of pro hockey after injuries derailed her senior season at Clarkson University. Her success this year is something every hockey fan can feel good about — right up until she’s playing your team and making magic happen with Carly Bullock./
  • HV71’s Danielle Stone is now level with Lara Stalder in goal scoring after burying the last goal of the weekend in her team’s 3-2 win over MODO. Stone scored her 17th goal of the campaign in overtime on the power play. Sidney Morin and Michelle Löwenhielm had the assists on Stone’s game-winner. She’s now up to 28 points, two points shy of her single-season SDHL career best which she achieved as a member of Leksand in 2017-18./