Brinkens, Lukko win season-ending tournaments in Sweden
The U13 Resport Trophy and U14 Uplandia Trophy regularly close the book on the youth hockey season in Scandinavia. In Sweden and Finland, the only national tournaments at the youth hockey level happen at the U16 age level. So, teams in younger age groups compete at iconic events like Resport and Uplandia, serving as de facto season-ending tournaments.
The pair of events featured 50 teams at the A, AA and AAA levels. Participants hailed from the host country of Sweden, as well as Finland, Norway, Iceland, Latvia, Denmark and Austria.
Brinkens IF, the No. 1 ranked 2009 team in Sweden, proved why it’s the top-ranked team in the country. They went 8-0-0 to win the Uplandia Trophy in Sollentuna, Sweden. Meanwhile, 15 minutes away in the city of Solna, Lukko, earned the championship at Resport Trophy.
Both tournaments were full of top teams, with representation throughout Europe and Scandinavia.
Viggo Mallmin leads Brinkens to U14 Gold
From the opening game of the tournament, forward Viggo Mallmin dominated the AAA Division at Uplandia Trophy. He scored twice in Brinkens’ 4-0 win over Flemingsbergs IK. It was the second time that top-ranked Brinkens had played the No. 2 ranked FIK. Both resulted in shutouts in favor of Mallmin and Brinkens.
The left-handed forward continued to make his presence felt, scoring two goals in each of the next two games. In those games, Brinkens knocked off Diskos 6-0 and Bäcken HC 7-1. On the final day of pool play, Mallmin assisted on the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win over No. 7 Kållered SK. But his best performance came in a four-point game against Latvia’s Baltic Wolves, where Brinkens won 5-2.
That wrapped up a perfect 5-0-0 run in pool play that earned Brinkens the top seed in the playoffs.
They drew unranked Viggbyholms IK in the quarterfinals, and Mallmin and company made quick work of them with a 9-3 win. In the semifinals, a familiar foe waited in Flemingsbergs. The second time the two teams had met in the tournament — and third time this season — it was tied 3-3 at the halfway point of the game. In the second half, Ognjen Martinovic scored a pair of goals, while Oskar St. John-Parker, Eric Sevallius and William Fällström all found the back of the net as well. FIK had kept the game close as long as they could, but Brinkens’ offense eventually blew the doors wide open. An 8-3 final score would give Brinkens its third victory over FIK as well as a spot in the championship.
In the final, the top team in Sweden took on the top team from Austria, Red Bull Salzburg. A balanced attack put Red Bull into the championship, as five skaters came in averaging a point per game. Their lone blemish in the tournament thus far was a 4-3 overtime loss to Södertälje SK on the final day of pool play.
Red Bull played Brinkens tough; something they had done to opponents all tournament long. While Mallmin and Brinkens maintained a significant 3-to-1 edge in shots, the game remained close down to the wire. With Mallmin held off the scoresheet for the first time in the tournament, Sevallius saw an opportunity to step up. He scored three consecutive goals to provide Brinkens with enough of a cushion, as they hung on to a 4-2 championship win.
Other champions from the 2023 U14 Uplandia Trophy include SDE Hockey, who won the AAA Tier-2 playoffs. Iceland’s One Ice Stars won the AA Division as well with a 6-3 victory in the championship.
2010 Lukko brings championship back to Finland
For the first time in five seasons, a team from Finland won the U13 Resport Trophy. The No. 4 ranked team in the country, Lukko was one of three Finnish teams in the AAA Division. The other five teams in the tournament’s top division included four that were among Sweden’s Top 10 and Latvia’s Baltic Wolves.
With a jam-packed field of talented teams, Lukko went 2-1-0 on the first day of the tournament. It’s lone loss was a 1-0 decision to Sweden’s No. 3 ranked Järfälla HC. The next day would bring another one-goal loss, this time 4-3 at the hands of Sweden’s No. 6 ranked Flemingsbergs IK.
Lukko entered the playoffs as the 3-seed, where they met Flemingsbergs for the second time in as many days. This time, though, Lukko would be victorious as the offense put 41 shots on goal to overwhelm FIK in a 4-3 win.
After making quick work of the Baltic Wolves in the semifinals, Lukko set its sights on another rematch. Järfälla, the top team in the tournament — and highest ranked in the field — had already defeated Lukko on Thursday.
The championship would be all blue and white right from puck drop. Kaapo Honkaheimo made it 1-0 Lukko less than two minutes into the game. Two minutes later, Joona Lautamäki made it 2-0. Sixty seconds later, Honkaheimo scored again to swell the early lead to 3-0. Then, after a four-minute lull in the action, Lautamäki struck again as well to make it a 4-0 lead heading into the half.
Lautamäki completed the hat trick 11 minutes into the second half, and Vilho Aaltonen scored his fifth goal of the tournament to wrap up the scoring.
The 6-0 final meant Lukko had won the U13 Resport Trophy, avenging both of its tournament losses in the process. It is the first time on record that a Finland-based club has won the event, as the trophy remained with a Sweden team each of the previous four tournaments.
Mälmö Redhawks Red won the AA Division championship with a 6-1-0 record. The A Division playoffs also went to a Finland-based team, as Ässät won 5-1 over Jarfalla.
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