Frondell, Ihs-Wozniak, Novotny lead all scorers after group play
TV-Pucken is a Swedish national ice hockey event where the 24 districts of the country compete in an under-16, all-star style tournament. Each district is represented by the top players in each area, and are divided up into four pools of six teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the single-elimination playoffs, set for November 4 – 6th. This season, some of the best 2007s from across Sweden represented their respective districts, with the first portion of the tournament taking place last weekend.
Stockholm North and Stockholm South topped Group A with records of 5-0-0 and 4-1-0 respectively. South’s only loss was a 4-3 decision to North; the final game of pool play on Sunday, with Eric Nilson scoring the deciding goal in the final 10 minutes of regulation. It was his second goal of the game and seventh of the weekend, as he tied with Södermanland forward Samuel Kjellström for the top spot.
Nilson plays for Järfälla during the winter season; he was the only representative from his club on the Stockholm North squad. The 23-man roster featured players from 11 different clubs, including five from Mälarö Hockey, four from Täby HC and three from Solna SK. Nilson’s teammate Melvin Novotny tied with Stockholm South forward Anton Frondell for the group lead in scoring with 13 points apiece. Novotny averaged a point per game last season for Täby as an underage ‘07 playing amongst 2006-born players. Similarly, Frondell played up in ‘21-22 for Djurgårdens IF, leading the team in goals and points, and is eyeing a spot on the club’s J18 squad this upcoming season.
In Group B, the Ångermanland and Norrbotten Districts claimed the top two spots.
Ångermanland was the one of three Districts over the weekend to claim all 15 possible points in the standings. Their roster consisted of players from eight different winter clubs; MoDo Hockey being the most reputable of the bunch with 10 skaters. The team’s perfect record came in large part due to the efforts of Markus Skröder in net. The 5-foot-11 goaltender played in four of the five contests, posting a 1.50 goals-against average. The only goalie to best Skröder between the pipes was Norrbotten’s Love Härenstam. He played all but 58 seconds of game action for Norrbotten, while posting a 1.41 goals-against average. Luckily for youth hockey fans, both goaltenders will have the opportunity to shine in the playoff rounds as both teams advanced to the quarterfinals.
The leading scorer in the entire tournament thus far is Jakob Ihs-Wozniak. He represents the Norrbotten District out of Luleå HF. Ihs-Wozniak is coming off of a strong performance at the 2022 World Selects Invitational and was the leading scorer on U16 Luleå last season. Be sure to check out WHH’s exclusive interview from Nashville with the Swedish prospect below.
Härenstam made his mark nationally last spring when he backstopped his Djurgårdens squad to a U16 national championship. He is competing for a spot on Luleå HF J18 squad this season.
Småland District swept through Group C play with a 5-0-0 record. The team was primarily made of players from HV 71 and Växjö Lakers, and out-scored opponents 41-10 over the weekend. Noel Skarby (13), Liam Andersson (12), Albin Laksonen (11) and Filip Alvudd (eight) finished one, two, three and four in scoring.
Despite losing 11-2 to top-ranked Småland on the final day, the Göteborg District had clinched a bid to the playoffs prior to its meeting with the No. 1 seed. A 3-1 win over Skåne District Sunday morning guaranteed Småland a spot in the eight-team field for November. Ivar Stenberg scored a pair of goals, with Hugo Lundberg cashing in an insurance goal to secure the win and the second spot in the standings, all prior to its meeting with Småland.
Group D had plenty of parody, with all six teams picking up at least one win, and the lowest average goal differential of all four groups. Five games were decided by two goals or fewer, including a 3-2 decision between Dalarna District and Örebro Iän District.
While Gästrikland went 5-0-0 to secure the top spot, the second bid was very much up for grabs with both Dalarna and Örebro Iän in the hunt. A power-play goal from Robbin Stenström gave Örebro Iän the head-to-head victory over Dalarna on Saturday. However, Dalarna would go on to defeat Västmanland and Östergötland down the stretch to accumulate nine points in the standings and propel themselves past Örebro Iän for the final spot in the playoff field.
Dalarna goaltenders Carl Englund (Borlänge HF) and Emil Andersson (Leksands IF) were two of the top three performers in Group D. Their combined 1.83 goals-against average was only out-done by Gästrikland’s William Forsberg (Brynäs IF) who allowed just six goals in four games.
The Stockholm District has won the tournament 17 times — most in history — and last season, Stockholm North defeated Stockholm South 3-1 in the championship game. It is widely considered a great accomplishment for a Swedish hockey player represent their district in the TV-pucken. The tournament is named “TV-pucken” because when it was first played in 1959, every game was broadcast on television. Now, only playoff games are shown nationally. Playoffs are set to get underway on November 4th, with the following districts representing the best 2007-born players in Sweden: