Big weekend for AIK leads to solid position in rankings
With the tournament season well underway in Sweden for the 2009 birth year, teams have been kicking off their 2022-23 campaigns against some tough competition right out of the gate.
And the lineup at the 2022 Farsta Games saw a majority of these top teams in action.
Five of the Top 10 teams in Sweden in our preseason rankings for ’09 birth year took to the ice at the Farsta Games, with AIK second-place finish and a 4-2-1 record on the weekend.
AIK opened their tournament with 3-0 and 5-2 wins against Nacka HK and IFK Täby HC, respectively. They then followed up their decent start by being shut out by Tyresö Hanviken Hockey 3-0.
They would regroup from that loss by serving up a shutout of their own; a 3-0 victory against Huddinge Hockey.
Next up on their schedule was a heavyweight bout with Brinkens IF, the eventual tournament champion and current No. 1 in Sweden in the preseason rankings. Ocean Warsi would open the scoring for AIK a little over three minutes into the matchup. A few minutes later, Viggo Malmin — one of the premier offensive players for Brinkens during the tournament — found the back of the net to tie things at 1-1.
Anton Persson would give AIK the lead right back towards the middle of the opening period, when he cashed in on a pass from Joel Johnsson for a 2-1 lead.
After a scoreless start to the second period, Malmin would tally his second goal of the game to even things up again at 7:38. That would be all for both squads as the contest would end in a 2-2 tie.
AIK would take out their frustrations over the tie in their next outing against host FOC Farsta Ishockeyförening, peppering them with goal after goal en route to a 8-1 victory. The squad’s depth was evident in the win, as they had four players record at least two points.
The stage was set for a rematch between Brinkens and AIK, but this time it was no close contest as AIK’s potent offense and stout defense were nowhere to be found in a lopsided 6-2 loss. Malmin once again was a standout for Brinkens, netting two more goals to finish his tournament run with 11, leading led all players.
Persson and Johnsson would end the tournament as the top point-getters for AIK, each tallying nine points in the form of five goals and four assists.
AIK Falls in Bronze-Medal Game at Nordic Youth Trophy
The following weekend, AIK was back in action as one of the 48 teams in attendance at the 2022 Nordic Youth Trophy in Värmland County, Sweden.
After being split into eight divisions of six teams, each ’09 club participated in a round-robin qualifying set of games against those in their division. Upon finishing the qualifiers, the field was divided even further into four playoff groups of A, B, C, and D.
AIK was placed in Group F for the qualifying round along with Nacka HK Vit, Hällefors IK/Filipstads IF, Lørenskog IK, Storhamar Hockey Gul, and Nor IK.
Day 1 of the tournament would see AIK start things off with a 4-2 victory over Nacka, followed by a 15-1 drubbing of Hällefors IK/Filipstads IF.
AIK would follow up their strong start by sweeping all three of their games during Day 2; a 7-0 win against Nor IK, a close-fought 6-5 win against Lørenskog, and a 16-0 rout of Storhamar.
By finishing the qualifying round atop Group F with a 5-0-0 record, AIK’s next opponent was Group C leader Djurgårdens IF in the quarterfinals for the A playoff group. In what would shape up to be a one-sided contest, AIK topped Djurgårdens and moved onto the the next round with a 7-0 victory.
Group F leader Flemingsbergs IK awaited in the semifinals, and AIK was quick to jump out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play thanks to goals from Persson and Lucas Sjöqvist.
However, Flemingbergs would come back for the second period with a renewed sense of urgency, striking for four unanswered goals in the span of just over 11 minutes to secure their 4-2 win.
Despite the loss, AIK had an opportunity to take home the Bronze Medal in their final game against Källered SK. Albin Lindström opened the scoring at 7:16 of the first period, before AIK’s Daniel Larsson found the back of the net nine seconds later to knot things up.
Sent to the power play at 11:41, Källered would strike on the man advantage at 11:54 to go up 2-1. With two more quick goals following that, they would end the period with a commanding 4-1 lead.
The second period would not fare any better for AIK, as they allowed four more goals to deepen their deficit. Despite two late tallies of their own, Källered would skate away with the bronze and an 8-3 win.
What didn’t help AIK was that its three leading scorers in Viking Simon (10G, 6A), Persson (10G, 4A) and Ernests Rullis (8G, 5A) could not match the firepower Källered presented at the other end of the ice.
A strong showing from AIK on consecutive weekends to open the season propelled them into the Top-10 rankings in the country, as well as the Top 25 in the world among 2009-born teams. Click HERE to see the full 2022-23 preseason rankings from all countries and birth years.
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