Johnson secures Skellefteå AIK's semifinal place

Andreas Johnson, sidelined since March 3, made a triumphant return in Thursday's fourth quarterfinal match, instantly becoming the game's hero. His sharpshooting prowess delivered the crucial opening goal in Skellefteå AIK's eventual 2-0 victory. This win propels AIK into the SHL semifinals, where they'll face the winner of the Leksand-Frölunda series.

Andreas Johnson scored the match-winning goal as AIK advanced to the semifinals.

Andreas Johnson scored the match-winning goal as AIK advanced to the semifinals.

Foto: Bildbyrån

Ishockey2024-03-29 11:46

AIK started strong but faltered in subsequent shifts, allowing the home team, Linköping HC (LHC), to create early opportunities and energize the Saab Arena crowd. However, AIK gradually seized control, dominating puck possession for much of the first period. Despite creating several promising chances, neither team managed to break the deadlock.

The second period mirrored the first, with AIK maintaining puck dominance while LHC focused on swift counterattacks. Anthony Greco nearly broke through for LHC but was thwarted by a timely intervention from AIK's Elias Salomonsson, resulting in an easy save for AIK goaltender Söderström.

The tide began to turn midway through the game. The home crowd found its voice, and LHC threatened on several occasions. They even enjoyed a powerplay opportunity in the second period's waning moments, but Söderström continued to shine, denying them a goal.

The deadlock remained unbroken entering the third period. LHC had another powerplay opportunity early on, but again, the brilliant Söderström stood firm. Shortly after the penalty expired, Zeb Forsfjäll squandered a golden chance for AIK, failing to beat LHC's Jesper Myrenberg.

The physical battle between Linköping and Skellefteå AIK continued, mirroring the intensity of their earlier encounters in the series.

With just over five minutes remaining, the game finally came alive. Andreas Johnson, returning from injury, stole the show. Wriggling his way free, and exploiting an unusually sleepy LHC defense, he popped a close-range shot into the top corner of the net, giving AIK a well-deserved lead.

Desperate for an equalizer, LHC pulled their goaltender with less than three minutes remaining. Arvid Lundberg capitalized on the empty net with a long-range cheeky chip from defense, sealing the win for AIK with a final score of 2-0.


Linköping–Skellefteå AIK 0–2 (0–0, 0–0, 0–2)

Goals: 0–1 (54.57) Andreas Johnson (Sikura), 0–2 (57.10) Arvid Lundberg (Lindström) mål i tom målbur.

Shots: 30–20.

Referee: Mikael Sjöqvist, Daniel Eriksson.

Attendance: 8 190 (sell-out).

AIK advances to the semifinals with a 4-0 win in the series. In the semifinals, they will face the winner between Leksand and Frölunda.