Skellefteå AIK win match seven – through to final

As expected, the deciding semi-final match between Skellefteå AIK and Frölunda HC on Thursday night was a tense and close affair, living up to the drama of a deciding game seven. But Skellefteå kept their nerve and are in their second consective SM final.

Skellefteå AIK is in the final for the second year in a row.

Skellefteå AIK is in the final for the second year in a row.

Foto: Ola Westerberg

Ishockey2024-04-19 10:44

Skellefteå got off to a dream start, scoring just 148 seconds into the game. Jonathan Johnson finished a slick passing play from Jonathan Pudas and Oscar Lindberg to put the home team on the board.

However, Frölunda responded quickly. Just four minutes later, playoff goal scorer Jere Innala replicated his move from game six, finding space with Linus Söderström and coolly beating Skellefteå's goalkeeper to tie the score.

The momentum shifted throughout the first two periods. After Frölunda's equalizer, Skellefteå managed to regain the lead through Martins Dzierkals with a surprising shot that found the net. Then, during a powerplay in the second period, Linus Lindström capitalized on a pass from Dylan Sikura to make it32-1.

The third period became a defensive battle for Skellefteå. With a two-goal lead, their focus was on keeping Frölunda from creating dangerous opportunities. Their strategy paid off when Max Lindholm sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.

This win secured Skellefteå's place in the final. The team now faces Rögle BK in what is expected to be a long and hard-fought series.

Skellefteå AIK had a dream start in game seven when Jonathan Johnson scored 1–0 on the powerplay.

Pär Lindholm, visibly moved by the win, expressed his emotions:

– It feels incredible! In the closing seconds, I was almost overcome with emotion. Seeing the entire arena erupt in cheers for us, their happiness fueling ours, was an amazing experience. While I share their joy, perhaps it's best not to dwell on it too much.

– Despite the recent setbacks (Skellefteå blew a 3-1 series lead), I never lost faith in our team's capabilities. We may have been unsure of our recent performances, but game seven showcased our true potential.

Looking ahead, Lindholm anticipates a long and challenging final series against Rögle BK, potentially lasting seven games.

– A short series would surprise me. It'll likely go to five, six, or even seven games. There will be highs and lows, but maintaining composure and focusing on the task at hand is crucial. It's high time to secure a home win in the finals – it's been far too long. We're going all out in game one!


Skellefteå AIK–Frölunda HC 4–1 (2–1, 1–0, 1–0)

Goals: 1–0 (02.28) PP1 Jonathan Johnson (Lindberg, Pudas), 1–1 (06.26) Jere Innala (Halbgewachs, Nilsson), 2–1 (09.39) Martins Dzierkals (Sandberg, Lundberg), 3–1 (36.24) Linus Lindström PP1 (Sikura, Sandin-Pellikka), 4–1 (17.02) Max Lindholm.

Shots: 26–22 (13–7, 7–9, 6–6) 

Penalty minutes: 4–8 (2–4, 0–2, 2–2)

The Final

Match 1: Skellefteå AIK – Rögle BK, Saturday, April 20, at 3:15 PM

Match 2: Skellefteå AIK – Rögle BK, Monday, April 22, at 7:30 PM

Match 3: Rögle BK – Skellefteå AIK, Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 PM

Match 4: Rögle BK – Skellefteå AIK, Saturday, April 27, at 3:15 PM

Match 5: Skellefteå AIK – Rögle BK, Monday, April 29, at 7:30 PM

Match 6: Rögle BK – Skellefteå AIK, Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 PM

Match 7: Skellefteå AIK – Rögle BK, Saturday, May 4, at 3:15 PM