Before being bested by Luleå in a tightly contested 2-1 loss on Sunday, Brynäs was shocked on home ice by MODO on Friday in one of the most thrilling games of the 2020-21 SDHL season.
After allowing the first goal of the game to MODO’s Sofia Engström, Brynäs’ beastly offense broke loose for a four-goal second period with Anna Meixner leading the way with a shorthanded goal. One would think that Brynäs entering the third with a 4-1 lead would mean that the game was already over. After all, before this weekend Brynäs had 18 wins in regulation in 21 games and their top line was essentially a runaway train of offensive production.
But Marion Alllemoz and MODO would not be denied.
Just 33 seconds into the third period, Allemoz scooped up a loose puck opportunity created by the hustle of her french national team teammate Lore Baudrit and used her teammate’s 6-foot-3 frame as a screen to beat goaltender Agnes Åker.
Midway through the third, MODO scored back-to-back goals from Engström and Allemoz — separated by just 17 seconds — to tie the game at 4-4. MODO continued to put the pressure on in search of their first lead of the game but it was not to be. With 39 seconds left in regulation, Josefin Bouveng scored for Brynäs after being set up by Lara Stalder. MODO’s unforgettable comeback appeared to be squandered, but they had a big opportunity as a result of a crosschecking penalty assessed to Katerina Mrazova after Bouveng’s goal.
Against all odds and with just 11 seconds left in regulation, MODO’s power play delivered. Erica Rieder pounced on a juicy rebound created by a big shot from — who else? — Allemoz and slammed the puck into the net with Åker down and out.
And then, in overtime, Jaycee Magwood scored her seventh of the season. With some quick stick work, knocked the puck off of Stalder’s stick and, with the league’s leading scorer in hot pursuit, Magwood beat Åker glove side with a wrister. Game over.
Stalder was given a game misconduct for shoving Magwood into the boards after she had raised her hands to celebrate her goal. We’ll have to see if there is any supplementary discipline there, but Stalder did suit up the next day. Magwood eventually got up, but definitely looked shaken up as she celebrated with her teammates. She was fortunate to be able to skate off the ice under her own power. Scary.
It was a forgettable game for both goaltenders — outside of a secondary assist for Klara Peslarova, who is continuing to distinguish herself as an excellent puckhandler — but an unforgettable win for MODO. Allemoz led the way with three primary points, but this was a team win. MODO is still in the middle of the pack in the standings, but this is the kind of win that could fill their sails for weeks to come. Beating Brynäs on the road is not something that a lot of pretenders can do.
Was this just a fluke or is MODO about to go off and muscle their way out of the middle of the pack. We’ll soon find out.
Here are three performances worthy of hardware from the last week of SDHL action.
- Julie Zwarthoed had a big game for SDE against AIK on Friday. She scored the go-ahead goal in the final minute of the second period to give SDE a 2-1 lead before AIK tied the game in the third. Then, in the shootout, Zwarthoed delivered again when she beat Jule Flötgen. The Dutch forward’s production has been down this year but she is now one of three players on SDE leading the pack with six goals — including shootout winners, which is how the SDHL does their stats. Which, by the way, is sacrilege.
- Veteran Canadian forward Jennifer Wakefield had a two-goal third period against Göteborg on Saturday. Wakefield has now scored 10 times this season for Linköping and is level with rookie Carly Bullock for the team lead in goals. Wakefield’s second goal of the game was scored while shorthanded when she pounced on a puck that was left loose in GOT’s crease in the aftermath of Bullock going hard to the net. She looked almost apologetic in her celebration. It was kinda great. Wakefield now has six 10-goal seasons in Sweden to her name./
- Goaltender Stephanie Neatby stole the show against HV71 on Wednesday with a 40-save performance in which she allowed just one goal, Linköping to a 2-1 win. As a result of her performance, Neatby now has 10 wins on the season and a dazzling .942 save percentage — good for fourth in the SDHL, and first among goaltenders with at least 1,000 minutes played. Neatby, an alumna of Princeton University, is playing like the rookie of the year for Linköping./
All data courtesy of SDHL.se.