Eight Teams Advance To Second Round Of Sweden U16s

Four groups of four teams competed in round-robin action over the weekend. The entire field played three games over the course of three days, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the field of eight teams next weekend.

GROUP A

Brynäs IF claimed the top spot, going 3-0-0 on the weekend. They never trailed at any point, with a 4-2 win over Färjestad BK, an 8-4 win over IF Sundsvall and a 7-1 win over Skellefteå AIK. Theo Östberg and Gustav Hillström played an impactful role in completing the clean sweep for Brynäs. The duo combined for five goals and 13 points over the weekend, while Edor Gotthold posted a 1.50 goals-against average and 95.08 save percentage in net. 

Skellefteå won its first two games of the weekend by way of 6-3 over Sundsvall and 8-2 over Färjestad. That guaranteed Skellefteå at least a spot in the next round, as all other games had been completed and neither Färjestad or Sundsvall had enough points in the standings to catch them. Hugo Zetterlund led all players in the group with seven goals and Kasper Abrahamsson backstopped Skellefteå in both of its victories.

GROUP B

Örebro HK took the top spot, going 3-0-0 in a hotly contested group. Four of the six games were decided by two goals or fewer, including two of Örebro’s three victories. All four teams earned a victory, and while Örebro secured one spot in the next weekend of the tournament, the other spot came down to a three-way tie between Luleå HF, Svedjeholmens IF and Mora IK.

Svedjeholmens defeated Luleå 4-2, but Svedjeholmens turned around and lost to Mora 4-3 the next day, and then Luleå ended up beating Mora 6-1. With each team sitting at 1-2-0, the tiebreaker came down to goal differential, of which, Luleå narrowly had the edge at plus-1. They needed every one of Jakob Ihs-Wozniak and David Thomasson’s combined six goals to secure the second and final spot in next weekend’s field of eight teams.

GROUP C

Not quite as close of contests as Group B, but the quartet of Frölunda HC, IFK Täby HC, HV 71 and Flemingsbergs IK still had plenty of exciting drama.

The top spot went to Frölunda with its perfect 3-0-0 record. However, the final two games were intense. A 3-2 win over Täby required a 36-save effort from Hugo Laring, in which Frölunda managed to hang onto its slim lead despite a late push from the opponent. The very next day, Affe Rapp and Max Grundström scored a pair of third-period goals — Grundström’s into an empty net with one second left — to clinch the top spot.

Täby and HV 71 headed into Sunday’s matchup in a deadlock in the standings; winner advances to next weekend and the loser ends its season. Teams traded blows, with Täby and HV 71 alternating scoring on five consecutive goals to the tune of a 4-2 game at the halfway point. Oliver Marcelius put together a five-point performance, with four assists — one of which came on a third-period power-play goal by Theo Stockselius — and then the exclamation point with an empty-net goal of his own to clinch the 7-3 victory and advance to next weekend.

GROUP D

Another tiebreaker was needed in Group D, as Djurgårdens IF, SDE Hockey and Växjö Lakers all finished the weekend 2-1-0. SDE narrowly defeated Djurgårdens 3-2, but then lost a one-goal game 4-3 to Växjö. Växjö then lost the final game of the weekend to Djurgårdens 5-2, with all seven goals coming in the final period. 

That period alone decided who moved on and who went home. Had Djurgårdens lost, it would have been eliminated. SDE Hockey was idle at this point, with a goal differential of plus-3. Växjö, on the other hand, could have suffered defeat in the final game, but in order to win a tiebreaker with SDE, its margin for error needed to be just one goal. Losing by three dropped Växjö’s differential to plus-1, dropping them out of the top two and eliminating them from contention for Sweden’s national championship. Thus, SDE was awarded the second spot.

The eight remaining teams advance to the second round of Sweden youth hockey nationals. They will be split into two groups of four, where again, teams will compete in a three-game round robin with the top two teams advancing to the third and final weekend. The groupings will be:

GROUP E
Brynäs IF
IFK Täby HC
SDE Hockey
Örebro HK
GROUP F
Djurgårdens IF
Frölunda HC
Luleå HF
Skellefteå AIK

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