Swedish Women’s Hockey League (SDHL) - November Review

Swedish Women’s Hockey League (SDHL) - November Review

30 Nov 2018Adrian J»
 

Over half the regular season has gone and as it was at the end of October, MODO Hockey lead the SDHL into December. The team relies on their Canadian imports to score than their opponents and so far it's working. with former Toronto Furies forward, Michela Cava leading the way in the whole league with 41 points (18G+23A). Behind her Kaitlyn Tougas, Lauren Wildfang, Brooke Boquist and Breanne Wilson-Bennett all in the top 20 in Total Points with an incredible 138 points between them. Sadly, Wilson-Bennett is out indefinitely having been taken out of the rink by an ambulance after falling head first into the boards after a tackle from behind on 18 November.

 
 
 
 

The top five clubs continue to have distinct points advantage over the five below them with 20 points separating 5th and 8th position. But within the top half it is tight - positions 2 to 5 are only separated by 6 points. This elite group of five, however, could soon be joined by sixth placed Djurgården IF who managed 8 wins in a row between 17 October and 24 November. Read on to find out more about the teams in positions 2 to 5.

2. Luleå/ MSSK

Luleå have still played significantly less matches than their rivals, but nonetheless continue to win despite having last year's top scorer, Michelle Karvinen out of action due to an undisclosed injury. That leaves captain and the league's top scoring defender, Jenni Hiirikoski to lead out the team with 33 points (10G+23A). Meanwhile fellow Finnish international Noora Tulus and Swedish forward, Emma Nordin lie in second and third on the team's internal points competition whilst Karvinen recovers. If they can win the six games they have in hand over MODO they should easily take the championship. And that is not impossible, this is a team that has only lost once since 7 October, and even in that game they managed took home a point after only losing in Overtime to Linköping HC. Netminder Sara Grahn continues to lead the league with a 95,05 SVS%.

3. Linköping HC

Linköping have also had a month without a loss and managed to hold shutouts against the bottom two teams in the league, SDE Hockey and Göteborg HC. They are the highest scoring team in the league and it shows in Total Points where Lara Stalder, Kennedy Marchment and Pernilla Winberg lie in second, third and fifth with 105 points between them. 21 year old Canadian, Marchment, was selected #2 overall in the 2017 NWHL draft by Buffalo Beauts and the talent shows - she is currently the league's top goal scorer with 20 in just 23 games. Meanwhile American import, Sidney Morin lies in second behind Hiirikoski in the league's top scoring defenders.

4. Leksand IF

Leksand IF won six of eight matches in October. But November started with a double defeat to MODO Hockey including not scoring at all in their home match. They have however licked their wounds and come out and won their next two matches to retain fourth in the table. Their stand out scorers are still Swedish double Olympian, Anna Borgqvist and former Calgary Inferno forward and Canadian Danielle Stone. But it was young assistant captain and defender Maja Nyhlén Persson and the experienced forward, Sofia Engström who were selected for Swedish national team. 30 year old Engström had not played an international match for four years before the Four Nations Cup. However, all eyes were on Nyhlén Persson, who only turned 18 on the 20 November. Having already impressed at the Pyeongchang Olympics earlier this year, she again made her mark on the international stage with two assists in four games. She could well be playing hockey in NCAA next year.

5. HV71

In fifth place, the club from Jönköping have had a difficult month losing all their matches except that against struggling SDE Hockey. The team is not lacking experienced talent with Olympians, Riikka Välilä (FIN, 45 yrs), Jenni Asserholt (SWE, 30 yrs), Fanny Rask (SWE, 27 yrs) and Sabrina Zollinger (SWI, 25yrs) in the squad. But they also have some of the younger, new generation of SDHL players in Sanni Hakala (FIN, 21 yrs) and Ohio State University's Claudia Kepler (USA, 23 yrs). Finnish duo Hakala and Välilä leads the team in points with 24 whilst they have a Spanish goaltender, Alba Gonzalo who is doing a great job at the back with a 92.69 SVS%. However, despite all that stand out talent, the light in a dark November for the club may have been 23 year old Maja Jakobsson. A relative unknown, she has managed 2 goals and 4 assists in November and will be a welcome addition to the team already ahead of Asserholt and Zollinger in Total Points.

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