Loss after loss. HV71's start to the season has been bleak. But with a win in their last game under their belt, the Småland team faced Skellefteå and pulled off a surprise.
HV started strong, but the high intensity quickly faded and AIK got into the game, showing why they are at the top while their opponents are struggling at the bottom. Passes were accurate and AIK had several good chances, but once again the finishing was poor.
In the middle period, AIK had a golden opportunity. Max Lindholm found Oskar Vuollet, who fired a shot that went just wide. However, opportunity quickly turned to danger, with Lindholm receiving a two-minute sin-bin for cross-checking.
And, of course, HV scored the opening goal on the powerplay after Oskar Stål Lyrenäs clipped the puck past Linus Söderström.
HV71 continued to be strong and apart from a huge miss by Martins Dziekals, the bottom team controlled everything - and they were rewarded once again, with Måns Lindbäck scoring.
At the end of the second period AIK finally got their reward for having more goal attempts than their opponents (as usual!) when Rickard Hugg finished an attack by belting the puck past Joni Ortio.
But AIK couldn't draw level, and in the final minutes of the third period, HV took advantage of more AIK mistakes to seal the game.
HV71–Skellefteå AIK 3–1 (0–0, 2–1, 1–0)
Goals: 1–0 (23.54) Oskar Stål Lyrenäs (Forsberg, Nardella), 2–0 (30.39) Måns Lindbäck (Fisker Molgaard, Kaski), 2–1 (38.20) Rickard Hugg (38.20) Rickard Hugg (Lindberg, Heikkinen), 3–1 (55.17) Tommi Tikka (Nättinen, Lenc).
Shots on goal: 14–23 (4–10, 10–3, 3–10)
Referees: Marcus Linde, Johan Wedin.
The next match for Skellefteå AIK , which is the last one before the upcoming national team break, will be played on Saturday when they face Linköping in Saab Arena.