Players from six countries gear up for regular season with final event of the summer
A tournament that typically features 40-50 summer hockey teams, hosted just 14 teams over the course of two weeks in Sweden and France. While it was significantly downsized, the European Hockeyfest had a very intimate feel in 2022. A smaller field of teams provided participants with an exclusive experience both on and off the ice.
While this year’s lineup was a fraction of what we’ve typically come to expect from Hockeyfest, it still featured players from as many as six different countries. Sweden, Finland, Norway, Czech, Latvia, U.S. and Canada were all represented in the two host cities of Stockholm and Paris. The 2010 age group got the event started on July 22, while the ’09s and ’12s closed it down on July 30.
Here’s a look at the results from all three birth years:
Sweden SHD Light Blue prevailed 6-2 over Sweden SHD Blue in the final. It was a revenge game for the Light Blue squad, after Sweden SHD Blue handed them their lone loss on July 29 — a 3-1 final. Aside from that, the Light Blue squad took care of business over the week, winning a bunch of tight contests before running away with things in both the semifinals and finals.
They topped Finland SHD Blue 6-3 to start, before recording a 3-2 win over Norway Selects, a 1-0 win over Sweden SHD Blue, a 5-3 win over Finland SHD Blue and a 4-3 win over Norway Selects in preliminary-round play.
To earn another match with Sweden SHD Blue in the final, they topped Norway 6-2 in the semifinals.
The Light Blue squad did it with balanced scoring, as Ludvig Westman was the only player to have more than a point per game; he finished with seven points in six games in the prelims. Filip Leijonhielm had six points, while Samuel Barthelson and William Olofsson had five apiece.
Yury Rodichev and Andrii Pyl split time between the pipes en route to the championship.
A pair of Sweden Blue skaters led the tournament in scoring, as Oscar Wennberg had 12 points in six games, and Filip Wahlen had 10. Norway’s Isak Bjorland also cracked the top five in scoring, registering seven points in six games.
Carl Johnsson and Vilmer Salen-Forsberg were outstanding between the pipes for Sweden Blue, as well — Johnsson finished with a .938 save percentage, and Forsberg had a .914.
The Czech Knights Gold squad got a wake-up call when they lost in the first round of the playoffs. After posting a perfect 5-0 mark in the preliminary round, they dropped a 5-4 battle to Finland SHD, but luckily for the Knights, they got a chance for redemption in Round 2.
There, they blanked the same Finland squad 7-0, and in the finals, they continued to roll, beating the Sweden SHD team 10-0.
The dominating performances in their final two games certainly represented the Knights’ trip to Paris; aside from the aforementioned loss to Finland, they were unstoppable all week.
In the preliminary round, they out-scored the competition 40-3 in their five games, beating Draftday Canada 6-1, ALPS SHD 16-0, the Czech Knights Black squad 8-0, Sweden SHD 5-1 and Finland 5-1.
Six of the top seven scorers in preliminary-round play were members of the Czech Gold squad. Denis Dobias led the field in scoring with 14 points in five games, while Jakub Milanic had 13, Nicholas Novak had 12 and Sven Stalder had 11. The lone player outside of the Czech Knights Gold team to crack the top seven was still a Czech skater; Czech Knights Black’s Erik Zahradnik had 11 points, as well.
Novak led the postseason in scoring with seven points in two games, while Dobias had six, which means that those two tied for the tournament overall scoring lead with 20 apiece in just seven games.
Sweden’s River Kallander posted some impressive numbers between the pipes, registering a 2.40 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in the five preliminary contests. August Uutela of Finland was right there with him, racking up a 2.67 goals-against and .909 save percentage.
As we’re sure you guessed from the numbers discussed above, Tobias Orechovsky of the Czech Gold team put up some remarkable stats, as well. He finished the prelims with a 0.60 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.
Finland SHD Blue emerged victorious in a four-team field for the 2012 birth-year, topping Sweden SHD Blue in the last contest by a score of 6-2.
The 2012 birth-year featured a Finland SHD Blue squad, Sweden SHD Blue and Sweden SHD Yellow, and a Latvia SHD squad.
The Finland squad posted a 5-1 record in the preliminary rounds before recording a 13-0 win over Latvia in the semifinals, and the aforementioned final against Sweden in the championship.
Ashton Salts of Sweden Yellow and Robin Torkki of Finland Blue finished atop the scoring list with 16 points in six games apiece. Signar Klingzell of Sweden Blue had 15, while Neo Huang of Sweden Blue had 14, Liam Jarvinen of Finland had 13 and Mikael Saila of Finland had 12.