Victory for AIK after another overtime thriller

Skellefteå AIK repeated their feat from the previous game, surrendering a lead at home before ultimately securing victory in overtime. Oscar Lindberg emerged as the hero with a winning goal at 66:57, propelling AIK to a 2-0 series lead in the SHL playoff semifinals.

Oscar Lindberg became the big match hero when he scored the winning goal for AIK in overtime

Oscar Lindberg became the big match hero when he scored the winning goal for AIK in overtime

Foto: Bildbyrån

Ishockey2024-04-09 09:24

Frölunda coach Roger Rönnberg opted for a shakeup after Saturday's loss, replacing starting goalie Lars Johansson with former Skellefteå AIK netminder Frans Tuohimaa.

AIK capitalized on a strong start with an early goal. Rickard Hugg tapped in a rebound from Elias Salomonsson's shot at 7:20. The first period ended 1-0 in AIK's favor with the home team outshooting Frölunda 10-8.

Early in the second period, Andreas Johnson collided with the boards during a tackle and was forced to leave the game. Despite a Frölunda power play with Oskar Nilsson in the box, Skellefteå's Linus Söderström held firm in goal.

Anton Heikkinen then doubled the lead for AIK, putting in his own rebound at the 32:22 mark. The home team had additional opportunities to extend their advantage but couldn't convert.

The first power play of the third period went AIK's way, even briefly offering a five-on-three advantage, but they again failed to capitalize. Frölunda finally broke through at 44:46 when Malte Strömwall squeezed a shot between Söderström's legs.

Just 94 seconds later, Jere Innala delivered a backhand past Söderström, sending a shiver down AIK's spine and tying the game at 2-2. Neither team could score further in regulation, forcing overtime.

AIK's overtime specialist Filip Sandberg spurned an early chance, but the most possession during Jayden Halbgewachs' penalty in overtime belonged to Frölunda.

Oscar Lindberg settled the contest with a decisive backhand goal at 66:57, beating Tuohimaa and putting AIK two games ahead in the series.

Obviously the fact AIK have blown leads in five out of their six playoff matches is a concern. But that they've still won each match suggests an inner core of steel when push comes to shove. 

Match facts

Skellefteå AIK–Frölunda 3–2 (1–0, 1–0, 0–2, 1–0)

Goals: 1–0 (7.20) Rickard Hugg (Salomonsson), 2–0 (30.41) Anton Heikkinen (Hugg, Nilsson), 2–1 (44.46) Malte Strömwall (Johansson), 2–2 (46.20) Jere Innala, 3–1 (66.57) Oscar Lindberg (Hugg, Heikkinen).

Shots: 33–32.

Penalty minutes: 2–8 (0–0, 2–4, 0–2, 0–2).

Referees: Andreas Harnebring, Linus Öhlund.

Attendance: 5 801

Skellefteå AIK lead the semifinal match series 2-0