Stellar defensive performance as AIK win first final match

Skellefteå AIK's goalkeeper Linus Söderström shut down the opposition – and in front of him, the defensive pair of Elias Salomonsson and Arvid Lundberg excelled as the home team secured their first SHL final victory at the Skellefteå Kraft Arena since 2014.

Arvid Lundberg was a defensive giant against Rögle BK.

Arvid Lundberg was a defensive giant against Rögle BK.

Foto: Ola Westerberg

Ishockey2024-04-22 09:20

Stellar goaltending dominated the first SHL final between Skellefteå and Rögle, with the lone goal coming from Linus Lindström with just minutes remaining.

– Deciding the game so close to the end is an incredible feeling, Lindström told SVT Sport.

Despite a flurry of scoring chances, the opening game saw a tense wait for a breakthrough. Both teams squandered opportunities on open nets, with Skellefteå's Elias Salomonsson even coming close to an own-goal during a Rögle power play. The deadlock remained unbroken until the third period.

Linus Lindström emerged as the hero with just over four minutes left. After recovering from a collision, he regained possession and buried the rebound to secure the decisive goal.

– Arvid made a great pass, and I had to finish it, Lindström explained.

This solitary strike proved to be the difference-maker, handing Skellefteå a narrow 1-0 victory and breaking Rögle's ten-game playoff winning streak.

–  It's a fantastic feeling, said Lindström.

– The first game is all about feeling out the opponent. Winning is definitely a bonus.

However, Skellefteå goalie Linus Söderström acknowledged room for improvement.

We were not at our bestl, he admitted to SVT Sport.

– I think Rögle was the stronger team overall.

This win marks Skellefteå's first home victory in a final since their championship season in 2014, finally ending a drought that spanned four final appearances.