Skellefteå AIK win in Slovakia

As is often the case with the Champions League, Tuesday night's match in Slovakia didn't offer much entertainment. But the points were there to be won, and Skellefteå AIK made sure to take them all.

Petter Granberg demonstrated pinpoint accuracy when he gave Skellefteå AIK the lead away against Kosice in the CHL.

Petter Granberg demonstrated pinpoint accuracy when he gave Skellefteå AIK the lead away against Kosice in the CHL.

Foto: Peter Jesensky/CHL

Ishockey2023-10-11 08:50

For most of the match it looked like a game nobody wanted to play. The nearly empty stadium in the Steel Arena in Kosice witnessed a first period where Skellefteå AIK controlled the tempo. Kosice, with Swedish veteran Jens Olsson in the team, didn't have much to say. So when Petter Granberg shot from the blue line, it was no surprise that the puck found the top corner of the net.

Skellefteå continued to create some half-chances with their new lineup, but David Rautio didn't have to make any big saves at the other end of the ice.

Quick transitions against disoriented defenses are also a challenge for goaltenders. This was evident early in the second period when Kosice made such an attack that led to the equalizer. After the Slovak goal, Skellefteå AIK changed the game completely. They increased the tempo and showed a level of passing that Kosice was not used to.

With a higher tempo came the first goal for the newly composed and on paper very strong first line. Oscar Lindberg passed the puck to Dylan Sikura, who quickly gained possession and set up Pär Lindholm with an open net.

– I think Dylan has gotten better with every game; he's getting better all the time. It's clear that he has top offensive qualities and Oscar is one of the best players in Europe, so it feels great to play with them. I think it will be good, said Lindholm.

You're not the coach, but did you also feel that something needed to change in the team after the weak offensive start?

– Maybe not, but I certainly feel that we have a lot more to give and that we need to get better at scoring goals. Defensively, I think we've shown that we're very strong and hard to beat.

The final act turned into a long period where Skellefteå made things difficult for themselves with numerous unnecessary penalties. However, Kosice failed to capitalize on Skellefteå's invitations to come back into the game, largely due to the outstanding performances of two of AIK's defensive aces.

David Rautio and Petter Granberg both played key roles in securing the win in the third period.



Kosice–Skellefteå AIK 1–2 (0–1, 1–1, 0–0)

Goals: 0–1 (5.36) Petter Granberg (Martin Dzierkals, Elias Stenman), 1–1 (22.34) Mario Lunter, 1–2 (32.29) Pär Lindholm (Dylan Sikura, Arvid Lundberg) 

Shots: 18–30 (4–9, 3–17, 11–4)