Finish atop group play, take home gold medal
Last weekend, ten teams at the 2009 birth year clashed at the Björknäs Ice Hall in Nacka, Sweden, as they battled one another at the 2022 Maxi Nacka Cup.
The tournament was designed to split the clubs into two groups of five, totaling a number of four games per team in the group stage. Games consisted of two, 15-minute periods, ending in a tie if necessary. Brinkens IF was placed into Group B, along with Västerås, Viggbyholms IK, Huddinge IK and Almtuna IS.
Brinkens opened group play with a 4-0 shutout of Västerås. Forward Leonard Torgner’s hot stick would help him find the back of the net three times, with Erik Sevallius adding the team’s fourth of the game. While not the busiest night in net, goaltender Arvid Carlgren turned aside all 11 shots he faced, helping Brinkens off to a perfect start.
Next up was Almtuna, who was handled by Brinkens in a 5-2 win. Sevallius’ dynamic offensive ability was on display yet again, as he struck twine four times. Oskar Mivell’s ability to find players in open ice largely contributed to the victory, as he connected with Sevallius on three of his four tallies. Assisted by a strong defensive effort, goaltender Sebastian Rosenberg only faced 10 shots, turning aside eight.
Viggbyholms, coming off a 6-3 loss to Västerås in their third game, was next up for Brinkens. After a first period that would end with Brinkens up 2-1, two quick goals by Carl de Wall and Anton Roos Olsen put Viggbyholms on top 3-2 in the second period. But with just about four minutes left in the game, Torgner would play the hero yet again for Brinkens to tie the game 3-3, which is where things would eventually stand.
Brinkens would follow that tie up with a 1-0 shutout of Huddinge, with Torgner’s goal-scoring prowess providing the only offense needed and Rosenberg’s perfect game between the pipes.
After going 3-0-1 in group play, the first playoff test for Brinkens was Värmdö HC, who also went 3-0-1 in Group A. With both teams showing high offensive ability and tight defense, it appeared as if this game would be an even match of skill.
However, Värmdö was unable to corral the dynamic forwards of Brinkens which ultimately resulted in a 7-2 loss. It was a complete team effort for Brinkens, as they peppered the opposing goalie John Kaarle with 26 shots. Värmdö managed to get their scoring chances, but could not finish most of them as a result of the tight-checking defense and solid performance of Rosenberg yet again.
The gold medal match was set between Brinkens and Group A leader Södertälje SK, who came into the championship game with an undefeated 5-0-0 record, dispatching both Group A opponents and playoff foes with ease.
An eye-popping stat alone, they only allowed two goals against during the entire group stage. The only team to score on them was Boo HC, and prior to that they shut out Värmdö, Lindingö and SDE. A large result of that was Södertälje’s top goalie tandem of Vilmer Salén Forsberg and Jonatan Duse, who combined to only let five goals in across all appearances.
At 10:11 of the first period, Nahuel Valdebenito opened the scoring, with assists from Wille Asplund and Winston Ilmarsson. Just over a minute later, Jack Lundvall would tie it 1-1.
Brinkens would waste no time gaining the lead in the second period. Just 26 seconds after action had begun, William Arbin rocketed a shot past Forsberg for a 2-1 lead.
Up to that point in the tournament, Forsberg had been the goalie for Södertälje in three of their five wins, splitting time with Duse in the 4-0 victory over SDE. In those appearances, Forsberg only let in one goal.
Supplied with their own set of stellar goalies, Brinkens would deploy both Rosenberg and Arvid Carlgren in the gold medal game, who combined to stop 13 shots.
Torgner would tally his tournament-leading ninth goal in the waning stages of the period to secure the win for Brinkens.
Ilmarsson would end the Nacka Cup as the leading point-getter with 11 points (4G, 7A), followed by Torgner (9G) and fellow teammate Valdebenito (6G, 3A) with nine points.