Viking Cup 2000: AJHL versus Sweden. Could the Swedes defeat the undefeated?

By Kelly Holtz
I was all ready for a fast paced and high scoring game when I sat down in
the 5th row of section A today. The undefeated AJHL All-Stars versus the
Under 18 Swedish National Team. Players I was set to watch out for were:

Team AJHL

#9-Riley Riddell– Riley is a local boy from Camrose, he is the 2nd leading
scorer in the AJHL this season. He is fast, has got soft hands, very agile
and great speed but also he is one of the smallest players in the league.

#19-Connor James– I wasn’t quite sure what to look for in this guy because I
had only noticed he was leading the AJHL All-Stars in scoring.

Team Sweden

#12-Tim Eriksson– Very fast, has incredible puckhandling abilities and is
probably the best playmaker in the Viking Cup.

#13-Jens Karlsson– Possibly the best player on the team. Has great size,
great stickhandling, cannon for a shot, and also has very soft hands.

The 1st period started out with the AJHL throwing some big checks and getting some early
penalties. The AJHL took a lot of unnecessary penalties resulting in good
scoring chances in front of the AJHL net. You could tell that the Albertans
were getting on the the Swedes nerves, everytime the Swedish goalkeeper
covered the puck there was an AJHL player there to crowd the net, this
resulted in a lot of pushing and small skirmishes around the net. For
the most part the swedes were penalized for roughing after the whistle. As
the period went on you could tell that the AJHL players were getting tired,
or maybe just flat out stopped trying. The Swedish players capitalized on this. There Power
Play Unit was passing very well and they were getting a lot of shots on the
net but they just couldn’t twinkle the twine. As the period came to a close, the few
players that stood out in my mind were Daniel Wilding, Tim Eriksson, Jens Karlsson for
Team Sweden and Riley Riddell for Team AJHL.

The 2nd period started off very quickly with the AJHL All-Stars scoring at 18:01 but
the goal was called back because the net came off its supports before the
puck went in. It didn’t take long for them to get another one
though.The puck was sitting in the slot and one of the Swedish defenders was
trying to pass it out of his own zone when it hit Connor James in the leg and
bounced to Riley Riddell. Riddell then passed it back to James and James
passed it back to Riddell. Which he then put the puck behind Swedish keeper Niklas
Holm. It was a beautiful goal. For the most part of the game Niklas Holm was
having a great game but on this he was beat on a very good goal. After that goal
Team Sweden started to take some questionable penalties around the net and
the AJHL was taking advantage of the weak penalty killing of the Swedes but
they couldn’t score on the strong goaltending of Holm. At 16:11 Johan
Eneqvist skated over the blue line with the puck and blew a snap shot past
Brent Jaeger. This seemed to pump up the Swedes as after that they started
playing a faster, harder hitting, and better game. But the Swedes started
taking penalties again and at 7:57. Number 10 Jared Sylvestre took a shot off
of the draw and beat the Swedish goalkeeper. This goal looked as if it took
a lot out of Team Sweden as they’re intesity level dropped. Alberta took
full advantage of this and increased their intensity. AJHL was checking hard
in their own zone and winning the battles along the boards. Near the end of
the period the AJHL took two penalties to give the Swedes a 2 man advantage.
The Swedish power play had many chances but just couldn’t tap it past Jaeger
as the Albertans came out unscathed and the period ended with the AJHL
All-Stars leading Team Sweden 2-1. Players that were noticable during that
period were Riley Riddell, Jared Sylvestre, Tim Eriksson, and Johan Hagglund.

After a Hot chocolate and a basket of fries I was ready to watch the 3rd
period. 3 minutes in Team Sweden scored on a 2 on 1. Patrik Moberg and Tim
Eriksson teamed up on Brent Jaeger and put the puck past him. Patrik Moberg
had replaced Jens Karlsson on Eriksson’s line and I noticed that Jens
Karlsson had not been on the ice for some time and was wondering whatever
happened to him, Injury? I never found out. Two minutes after the Swedes
scored Alberta countered with another goal at 14:56. #11 Colin Murphy tipped
a shot from the point that fooled Hiklas Holm. Alberta was pretty much
controlling this game until they started to play carelessly and they were
once again down 2 men to the Swedes. But one more time Brent Jaeger bailed
Alberta out. Jaeger was having an incredible game for the AJHL All-Stars.
The Swedes had tons of chances in the 3rd period but Jaeger played a stellar
game in the net. The AJHL scored twice more in the period to finish off the
Swedish Under 18 squad. Colen Pappas and Colin Murphy tallied for the
Albertans and that was all she wrote.

Players that caught my eye in the game were:

Team Sweden

#12-Tim Eriksson– Was in my mind the best player for Team Sweden

#13-Jens Karlsson– When he was playing he was dominating the game. Had he
played the whole game the outcome may have been different.

#21-Johan Hagglund– Played a very gritty in your face type of game today.

#15-Johan Eneqvist– Team Sweden’s Captain scored a goal and got an assist
today.

#25-Daniel Wilding– Played a solid game on the Wing for Team Sweden

AJHL All-Stars

#9-Riley Riddell– Everytime his blades hit the ice he made a difference, He
Was in my eyes the best player for Team Alberta. got a goal and an assist
today

#10-Jared Sylvestre– I hadn’t heard much of this young guy before the game
but as soon as I saw him he impressed me with his smooth skating and speed.
very smart as well.

Well Sweden plays the Saskatchewan All-Stars tommorrow so I am going to try
and attend that game. So until my next article is up. Cya later.

Author’s note: it was Lars Jonsson’s birthday today. quite the B-Day present
eh? oh ya I have a new email address. kellyholtz2000@email.com

Happy New Years folks!