SHL Hockey: Semi Final 1 - Växjö Lakers v Malmö Redhawks

SHL Hockey: Semi Final 1 - Växjö Lakers v Malmö Redhawks

16 Apr 2018 | Adrian Jervis
 

Last year when these two team's met in the Quarterfinals, the Redhawks knocked out the Lakers to the surprise of everyone. This year the Lakers had revenge in a near faultless series, that saw Elias Petterson cement his reputation as Sweden's best striker with a beautiful overtime goal to complete the 4-0 series win. Read on for a match by match review of the semi final.

 
 
 
 

It was none other than the league's top scorer, Elias Petersson, who was first to get his name on the scoresheet after just 5 minutes. But a further goal from Växjö was cancelled out by two strikes by Redhawks' Danish top scorer Frederik Storm to leave a tantalizing last 10 minutes of the game with scores drawn at 2-2. But the match would be decided by Växjö's Dennis Rasumssen. The former Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks centre blasted in from the slot having received a pass from none other than Andy Miele, scoring his first point for the night. The only negative m for the home team was that Robert Rosén received a three match ban for Checking to the Head by the discipline team after the match.

Match 2 in Malmö was a show in class from the Lakers allowing no glimmer of hope for the Redhawks. This time is was Tuomas Kiiskinen, Rasmussen and Canadian Andrew Calof who produced the goals with former Anaheim Ducks keeper, Viktor Fasth holding a clean sheet and saving 33 shots. Miele and Pettersson got assists on the first goal of the night as the Lakers ran out 3-0 winners.

Match 3 saw Rhett Rakhshani find the net and for the first time in the series, and, indeed, last, Malmö were ahead. That lead lasted 5 minutes before Calof and then Pettersson scored, with Rasmussen picking up assists on both goals. The Match was finished off by centre Linus Fröberg who scored an empty net goal to finish off the Redhawks 3-1.

The fourth and final match in the series was a much more even affair. Although Växjö scored in the opening period on power play, Malmö would soon equalize on a five against three through defenseman Nils Andersson. With Malmö knowing that the slightest mistake would mean they would have an early end to the season, they focused on defense only allow Växjö 21 shots on goal in the whole game. The home team had a second period they won't want to remember because it saw Fröberg and then Fasth receive treatment off the ice for possible concussions after hitting their heads on the ice in unrelated incidents. Second keeper Viktor Andrén stepped in an ensured that the match would go to overtime.

The stalemate continued until a moment of true brilliance saw Elias Pettersson score the winning goal. With Rakhshani sitting out for Highsticking, Pettersson received the puck from Shiminin to the left of the slot unmarked, skating forward he drew out keeper, Oscar Alsenfelt. Closed in on by no less than two Malmö players, he continued to fake and dyke. Then, seeing the netminder was out of position, the young Swede went around him on the outside dragging the puck from behind the baseline and with a diving motion somehow guided the puck into the goal. A You Tube classic was born and both Pettersson's and the Lakers' reputation as the best of 2017/8 season is only one Final away from being secured.


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