2012-11-28 13:48:00 | Luleå HF
Similar to last weeks 3 Stars article, one team has been dominating as of late, Luleå, and the teams performance has been driven by a couple players who’s performances have warranted inclusion on our weekly list.
Honorable Mention: Fredrik Norrena, Växjö Lakers, 3 Wins, 1 Shutout, SVS% 95.35
Just misses out on the top three spots due to a patchy performance against Färjestad, but he still managed to pick up the win in every game and had a good save percentage.
Niklas Olausson. Photo: Henrik Johansson, Pic-Agency.com
3rd Star: Niklas Olausson, Luleå, 0 G, 7 A, +/- 4
Despite not picking up any goals during his three game stretch, Olausson has been the man with the golden touch during Luleå’s three game winning streak, having assists on 7 of his team’s 16 goals.
2nd Star: Petr Vampola, Växjö Lakers, 2 G, 3 A, +/- 3
He points total over the past three games may not be the best in the league, but they all seem to have come at crucial times for the Växjö Lakers. Against a Skellefteå team that was unbeaten in seven games, Vampola came up with the turnover and the assist for the game-tying goal before going onto score a breakaway winner in OT.
And after notching up another goal against Timrå, he finished up his hot week with two assists against Färjestad, with one turning out to be the helper on the game winner.
Johan Gustafsson. Photo: Simone Syversson, Pic Agency.com
1st Star: Johan Gustafsson, Luleå 3 Wins, 1 Shutout, SVS% 97.06
Even if Gustafsson’s team hadn’t been able to score 16 goals during this three game stretch, they would likely have still been able to rack up all three wins due to the outstanding play of their netminder.
Only conceding a goal apiece against both Rögle and Brynäs, Johan
Gustafsson went on to shutout the league’s second most potent offense in HV71. You can check out one of his best saves against Rögle on this week’s best saves highlights here:
2012-11-27 11:06:00 | Färjestad BK
Färjestad´s Alexander Salak in action. Photo: Daniel Briander
Through the first 26 rounds of Elitserien play Färjestad’s goalkeeper Alexander Salak has been one of the best shot stoppers in the league, recording five shutouts and having a solid 94.22 save percentage. Here’s a brief history of how Alexander Salak finds himself in the Elitserien today.
Salak started out his career playing as a youngster for both HC Pisek and HC Ceske Budejovice before going onto represent both HC Strakonice and HC Tabor at the third highest league in the Czech Republic whilst on loan from HC Ceske Budejovice.
After these spells on loan, Salak signed with Finnish team Jokipojat who play at the second highest level of Finnish hockey under the SM-liiga. During his only season at Jokipojat, Salak recorded a saves percentage (SVS%) of .918 after playing in 34 games.
His career in Finland took a big step the year after in the 07-08 season as he moved up to the SM-liiga to play with TPS and trained under famed goaltending coach Urpo Ylönen.
After making 31 appearances during the 07-08 season and recording a respectable 2.59 goals against average (GAA), Salak upped his level of play during the 08-09 season, despite playing for a weak TPS team, appearing in 52 games whilst dropping his GAA to 2.40 and recording 20 wins with 4 shutouts. His standout performance then earned him a contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
Save by Alexander Salak. Photo: Jan Bulér, Pic-Agency.com
After attending the Panthers training camp, Salak was assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans and appeared in 48 games for the club whilst recording SVS% of .910.
During his season with Rochester he was called up to the Panthers squad to play in two games. His first game came in relief of Scott Clemmensen against an Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals. With his team already two goals down, Salak conceded another four, three on the powerplay and one on the penaltykill, and took the loss in contest that his Panthers gave him little offensive help.
His second NHL appearance also came as a relief effort against the Carolina Hurricanes where once again the Panthers didn’t help themselves or their goaltenders as Salak came in with the game already lost at 5-1, but conceded a further two goals just 17 seconds apart with just 5 minutes to play in the third period.
Despite the shaky play at the top, Salak only lost once during the months of October and November for his Rochester side and was one of the big factors that saw his team get to the playoffs.
Alexander Salak. Photo: Simone Syversson, Pic Agency.com
For the 2010-11 season, Alexander was loaned to Färjestad by the Panthers and put together a memorable season as he played in 32 regular season games with a GAA of 1.97, ranking second in the league, before helping his team win the Le Mat Trophy by playing in 9 playoff games and having a SVS% of .904.
On February 9th 2011 Salak’s rights were traded away to the Chicago Blackhwaks where he signed a two-year, one-way contract, but was once again sent down to the AHL due to the Blackhawks signing Ray Emery.
Due to injury, Salak only appeared in 21 games and had a GAA average of 2.69 in what appeared to be a down year for the goalie prospect. However, without the prospect of playing at the NHL level for the 2012 season, Salak made the decision to come back to the Elitserien club that he had already spent time on load at, Färjestad.
This has turned out to be a great move for both player and club as Salak has now won 11 games to help his team reach 4th in the Elitserien table at the time of writing. Färjestad will be looking to keep Alexander Salak in this rich vein of form if they are to maintain their highflying position within the league and I for one will be keeping a close eye on his future performances.
2012-11-26 10:41:00 | Okategoriserat
Luleå enjoyed a goal fest. Photo: Peter Skaugvold, Pic-Agency.com
- Färjestad went undefeated this week with wins over Luleå Hockey, Brynäs and Frölunda which helped them climb to fourth in the league table. Strong play from Per Åslund on the second line and Alexander Salak in goal have been particularly notable this week.
- MODO Hockey also haven’t dropped a game this week with a shutout win over Frölunda on Tuesday before picking up a 4-2 win over league leaders HV71 and a 4-1 result against Rögle BK. The streak has been a real team effort but with goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum having a 97.25 save percentage it’s fair to say that he’s been a steadying influence from the back.
- At the other end of the spectrum, Timrå IK lost every game this week in fairly convincing fashion, suffering losses to HV71, Linköping and Växjö Lakers. The real problem for Timrå IK has been on the defensive end as they have conceded 13 goals over the three games with both Daniel Bellissimo and Joakim Lundström struggling in net. This poor run of form now sees them drop to 10th in the table.
- Luleå Hockey enjoyed a goal fest against Brynäs on Saturday night with an 8-1 victory. Everyone got in on the act as eight different players recorded goals whilst the majority of the assists came from Niklas Olausson and Linus Persson who had four and three assists respectively. Neither Robin Rahm or Johan Holmqvist had the answer for BIF in net as both conceded 4 goals apiece.
Robert Rosén. Photo: Henrik Johansson, Pic-Agency.com
- Växjö Lakers’s own Robert Rosen reached 100 total career points in Elitserien with an assist against Skellefteå AIK. Believe it or not, the former MODO and AIK player recorded his first Elitserien goal against current Växjö goaltender Fredrik Norrena.
Here’s a link to the Växjö Lakers’s article and a highlights video of his 100 points.
- Skellefteå AIK increased their win streak to 7 games against Linköping on Tuesday before having it broken in OT by Växjö Lakers and Petr Vampola’s
breakaway winner Thursday night.
- The most important game of the week came at the top of the table where Skellefteå AIK travelled to Kinnarps Arena to take on the league leaders HV71. There was a lot riding on this game with the winner of the game taking the top spot in the league.
HV71 scored goals in the first and second period, and with SAIK’s players spending a whopping 30 minutes in the penalty box, HV71 never looked like relinquishing the lead as they finished the game as 2-1 winners.
2012-11-21 11:30:00 | Skellefteå AIK
With Skellefteå AIK being on a seven game winning streak, our 3 stars of the last three rounds features two of their standout performers who have been stuffing the stat sheet as of late.
Söderberg in action. Photo: Fredrik Sundvall, Pic-Agency.com
3rd Star: Carl Söderberg, Linköping 4 G, 0 A, P 4, +/- 3
Elitserien’s leading goal scorer has been key for LHC recently, managing to delight the Cloetta Center crowd with two goals against the Växjö Lakers on Saturday as well as scoring the OT winner against Luleå Hockey.
2nd Star: Joakim Lindström, Skellefteå 2 G, 5 A, P 7, +/- 2
Lindström continues his strong form this season by having at least one assist in the past three games and managing to add goal against both Rögle and Linköping.
Holloway and Lindström. Photo: Bert Söderström, Pic-Agency.com
1st Star: Bud Holloway, Skellefteå 4 G, 5 A, P 9, +/- 4
Managing to average at least three points a game in his past three games, Bud Holloway is out 1st Star for this week. His best performance was his hat trick and an assist in the blowout over Rögle.
Watch Holloway´s hat trick against Rögle
Holloway’s play has been a key factor in Skellefteå’s and his consistency
throughout the season so far has him atop the Elitserien’s points leaderboard.
2012-11-19 13:37:00 | Skellefteå AIK
Bud Holloway. Photo: Bert Söderström / Pic-Agency
If you have been following the Elitserien this year, one player you’re bound to be aware of is Skellefteå’s right winger Bud Holloway, who is the currently the leading point scorer in the league and is freshly off a three goal and four point performance against the Elitserien’s bottom dwellers, Rögle.
For some of our North American readers, you may already be aware of Mr. Holloways background in the WHL as well as the AHL, but for those of you who are only aware of Bud’s recent exploits, here is a little background on George "Bud" Holloway III.
Born in Wapella, Saskatchewan, Bud had a strong five year career playing for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, accumulating 106 goals and 209 points, Holloway was then selected 86th overall in the 2006 NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings and designated straight to their AHL affiliate the Manchester Monarchs.
Holloway and his teammates after a goal. Photo: Per Friske / Pic-Agency
After scoring a goal in his professional debut against the Portland Pirates, Holloway split his time between the Monarchs and the King’s ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, in the 08-09 season before finding solid playing time at the AHL level in the 09-10 season with 75 games played and 61 points split between the regular season and playoffs.
In his third professional season Bud’s game found a new level as he was the Monarchs leading scorer with 28 goals alongside his 33 assists, helping Manchester reach the postseason, where his good form continued to show through.
Despite a first round exit in the playoffs to the eventual Calder Cup champions, the Binghamton Senators, Holloway lead the team in both goals (4) and assists (7), showing a sign of things to come in Elitserien where he currently holds the record for most points in a single playoff year after last seasons 10 goal and 13 assist effort for Skellefteå.
Bellemare and Holloway. Photo: Bert Söderström / Pic-Agency
However, after deliberating with his agent and observing the King’s offseason moves, Holloway decided not to accept the King’s qualifying offer to him and to play his trade elsewhere, and after hearing of former Manchester Monarch’s teammate Oscar Möller’s move to Skellefteå, he decided to make a fresh start in the Elitserien.
After signing a one year deal with Skellefteå for the 2011-12 campaign, Holloway went onto record 21 goals and 28 assists in 55 regular season games before breaking Espen Knutsen’s record for points in a single playoff year.
This year, Holloway is truly out to set his mark on the Sweden’s Elitserien, having recorded 32 points in only 23 games, he has his team in second place in the league table just behind HV71. Whilst playing in the NHL is still every young Canadian hockey player’s dream, I think it’s safe to safe that, for now, Bud Holloway has found his niche here in Sweden.
2012-11-19 11:34:00 | Skellefteå AIK
Holloway & company celebrating. Photo: Dennis Clerkefors / Pic-Agency
The former AHL-forward (191 games and 120 points for Manchester Monarchs) Bud Holloway continues to dominate the scoring league in Elitserien.
In Saturday´s 7-0-win against Rögle the Canadian recorded his second hat trick for the season and thanks to Saturday´s impressive performance the 24-year-old Skellefteå-player now has a total record of 32 points in 23 games.
Scoring league - Elitserien
Bud Holloway´s hat trick against Rögle
2012-11-19 10:35:00 | Luleå HF
Pyörälä during his first practice för Luleå. Photo: Robert Hedlund, Luleå Hockey
In his comeback (Saturday´s 3-2-win against AIK) in Elitserien Mika Pyörälä recorded one goal and one assist for his new team Luleå Hockey.
Pyörälä started this season in and Russia and KHL, where he recorded 11 points in 25 games for Amur Khabarovsk. But the 31-year-old forward from Finland is well known in Elitserien after his time in Timrå and Frölunda and a total record of 139 points in 201 games.
Here you find Luleå Hockey-TV´s post game interview with Pyörälä.