SDHL - regular season round up

SDHL - regular season round up

10 Mar 2018Adrian J»
 

The SDHL, the Swedish Women's Hockey League, has come to the end of the regular season. In this article we'll take a look at the situation in the league before the knockout phase begins.

 
 
 
 

The regular season has come to an end and for the third year in a row, Luleå HF have won the series. The problem for them is that they have only once converted that into playoff success. Last year it was Djurgården IF who lifted the Trophy even though they came second in the regular season.

All eight of the teams in the knockout rounds have players returning from the Olympics in their squad. With over 30 players that includes every type of experience from MODO Hockey's Sidney Morin who got Gold with USA to the other end of the scale for Sweden's captain, Emilia Ramboldt, and assistant captain, Pernilla Winberg. Both return to Linköping HC knowing that at 29 years old they may have played their last Olympics with an hugely disappointing seventh place. Morin is in her first season at MODO Hockey where she has 32 Points in only 22 matches. The defender gained two assists during the Olympics, including one on the USA's first goal in the Gold medal game against Canada.

But several teams are putting nothing to chance this year buying in high quality import players for the playoffs. Luleå HF for example, are not content with have the league's highest scoring forward and highest scoring back in Finnish Bronze medalists Michelle Karvinen and Jenni Hiirikoski. Nor is enough to have the top scoring Swede, Emma Nordin in the team. They have already brought in two Canadian Olympics Silver medallists direct from Pyeongchang in the super talented forward Jennifer Wakefield and experienced back Meaghan Mikkelson.

Perhaps it is that the memory lives on of Linköping HC's first SDHL victory in 2013-4 where Bailey Bram (who also was part of the Canadian team that won Silver in Korea) scored the championship winning goal in only her second and, so far, final match in Sweden.

Linköping HC last won the SDHL in 2014-5 with Wakefield in their team. Arguably they were denied a third championship in a row the following year when the 28 year old Canadian could only play one of the three games in the final series against Luleå HF due to international duty. The club from Östergötland will be out for results this year after two seasons without a trophy win. They will be relying on their depth of experienced players, such as Denise Altmann. She has played 10 seasons in the SDHL but at only 30 but has set just about all the records other will try to break. The Austrian is top the All Time Goals, All Time Assists, All Time Total Points and soon All Time Games Played in the the league. Austria did not qualify for the Olympics but the club can also depend on Swiss Olympians at either end of the ice in top goal scorer Lara Stalder (39 goals this season) and top keeper, Florence Schelling (94.76 SVS), to get them to top prize which has eluded them in the last 3 years.

Both teams have the talent but it remains to be seen who will this year's victors.

Final positions and Playoff Summary:

Top 8 teams into the Playoff knockout competition: Luleå HF, Linköping HC, MODO Hockey, Djurgården IF, HV71, Leksand IF, AIK, Brynäs IF.


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