AIK beaten again by brutally efficient Växjö

Skellefteå AIK started energetically and were lifted by the loud crowd. But when visiting Växjö scored the only goal of the first period, it didn't matter that Linus Söderström kept a clean sheet for the rest of the match, AIK just couldn't puncture the Lakers' defense.

Linus Lindström and Skellefteå AIK fell at home in the second final match.

Linus Lindström and Skellefteå AIK fell at home in the second final match.

Foto: Ola Westerberg

Ishockey2023-04-18 12:39

In an intense second match, Växjö solidified their dominance in the final series against Skellefteå. Following a narrow 3-2 victory in the opening match, the Småland-based team proceeded to triumph in the second face-off, clinching a 1-0 win on the road. As a result, Växjö now holds a 2-0 advantage in the series.

The victory was achieved through a combination of staunch defense, an outstanding performance by Emil Larmi in goal, and a solitary, decisive goal by Dan Sexton during a counterattack at the first period's midpoint.

Pär Lindholm had a shot that was video reviewed in the first period, but the referees could not be sure that it crossed the goal line.

The worry for AIK is that although they out-shot Växjö 26-11, for long periods of the game the Lakers kept them at a pretty comfortable arm's length. AIK's hockey was neat and tidy but it lacked bite and perhaps a little aggression.

As Adam Savonen says in this excellent analysis (in Swedish) of the defeat, maybe it's time AIK adopted a more aggressive, 'No More Mr Nice Guy' approach to ruffle Växjö's feathers a little. Because so far, they have looked too comfortable.

On to Thursday in Växjö - mathematically, it's not quite a must-win, but it's as near as dammit.

Before the match, North Power raised a banner with memories of the previous golden years.


Skellefteå AIK–Växjö Lakers 0–1 (0–1, 0–0, 0–0)

Final 2:7 – 0–2

The goals: 0–1 (12.55) Dan Sexton (Kellman, Bengtsson).

Shots: 26–11 (10–6, 7–3, 9–2).

Penalty minutes: 4–2 (2–0, 2–2, 0–0).

Attendance: 5801