SHL Hockey: Semi Final 2 - Djurgården IF v Skellefteå AIK

SHL Hockey: Semi Final 2 - Djurgården IF v Skellefteå AIK

16 Apr 2018 | Adrian Jervis

An absolutely brilliant series saw second placed Djurgården IF against fifth placed Skellefteå AIK. The semi final was won by Skellefteå with keeper Joni Ortio and forwards Oscar Möller and Jimmie Ericsson shining for the northerners in their 4-2 win. Read on for a game by game review of the series.


Rough and tough playoff hockey was the order of the day with this series as the two highly talented teams set into each other in this frantic and physical semi final.

Djurgården's two goals in the first period of Game 1 would not be enough as Skellefteå's power trio Pär Lindholm, Oscar Möller and Jimmie Ericsson (in the absence of the suspended Lindström) got them into the lead. Whilst Linus Hultström replied for the home team to force the game into overtime, it would be Ericsson from Skellefteå AIK who would produce a piece a playoff magic to sink the team from the capital 4-3.

Although the final score would not represent this, Game 2 was another even match in Skellefteå. But the last few minutes of the game would be decisive. The Stockholm team totally loss control of the game letting in four goals in just five minutes having been behind only 1-2 before that. Joakim Lindström got two assists in his first match back for the club. The last goal was scored by Canadian AHL star Bud Holloway. Now in his second spell at the Swedish club, the 30 year old completing the 6-1 rout for Skellefteå AIK.

Game 3 saw Djurgården finally get the win they had promised, taking advantage of Skellefteå's assertive style in scoring all three goals when they're opponents had one, or more, men in the penalty box. It was Markus Ljungh who again managed to get in on the goal scoring action. Unusually, goalkeeper Adam Reideborn managing to get an assist on the goal as he passed up field to Marcus Högström who sailed with ease into the offensive zone, with Skellefteå on a lazy line change, then zipped the puck away from the bench out to Ljungh who set it behind Finnish keeper, Joni Ortio. Even a goal with 4 minutes left was not enough for the northerners and Djurgården IF won 3-1.

Djurgården start on the right foot in Game 4 , shutting down AIK and taking a 2-0 lead through Mikael Ahlén and Jonathan Davidsson in the first period. It would be the third period until someone scored again when Skellefteå found the net, first through Möller and then Henrik Hetta. The hard hitting forward delicately deflecting in a rocket hit by Canadian Mark Katic from the point to tie the game with 2:28 left on the clock taking the match to a second Sudden Death scenario in the series. And it was Skellefteå who again were able to find the net under pressure. This time through the unlikely source of captain Pontus Petterström with an incredible one timer from the slot to make it 3-2 on the night and 3-1 in Games to Skellefteå AIK.

13500 people crammed into the Globe in Stockholm to watch Game 5 and witnessed an incredible match with intensity and goal chances a-plenty. With both Ortio and Reideborn in sparkling form the only chance of scoring was going to be on a rebound or second or third phase play. And it was the visitors who managed to find the net first as Tim Soderlund flicked the puck in through a melee of players in front of goal. This time it was Djurgården who ratcheted up the tempo in the third period so that the northerners couldn't keep up. First, it was Hultström who scored after being given oceans of space and time to tee up and shoot following several waves of attacking play. Jonathan Davidsson would score, but it was so clearly a hand-pass into the goal that he could barely go to the bench and celebrate before it was waved off by the video review. But then finally, top scorer Patrik Lundh finished off the visitors. With the goalie taken out Skellefteå launched a final attack and how Bud Holloway missed with 2 seconds to go no one could explain! But Djurgården IF won 2-1 and took the series to 3-2 in matches.

Game 6 in Skellefteå would be the last in this fantastic series. The first period belonged to the visitors, Djurgården. With excellent forechecking in the offensive zone and strong ability to play their way out of defense the Stockholm team owned the action, but crucially did not score. That meant in the second period Skellefteå began to assert their own game and when Jimmie Ericsson was left unmarked in front of goal on a power play he brilliantly blocked Reideborn's view and scooped up the rebound from Möller's shot and placed it in the net. With the home crowd behind them, Skellefteå pressed the detonation button on Djurgården's chance to go to the final. It took less than 9 minutes for the northerners to go 4-0 ahead with Oscar Möller leading the charge with two of those goals. A team as good as Djurgården were not going to give up, but even though they scored twice in the third period, it was too much to do and they ended up losing 6-2. Skellefteå AIK go forward to the final against Växjö Lakers.

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