The WJC’s are just two days away. The tournament is set to start in
Skellefteå and Umeå, Sweden, on Christmas Day. This year there isn’t one
team everyone agrees being the clear favourites to win it all, which makes
for a more interesting tournament. The Swedes should nevertheless go into
the tournament as favourites, closely followed by the Russians, Canadians
and Finns, in that order.
Sweden, knowing that it was high time to make a serious bid to win the
gold this year as hosts, has adopted a new strategy this year to help the
players considered for the JWC squad. The main idea is to make sure that no
player warms the bench all season before going to the JWC’s to have a
significant role. So, in coalition with Elitserien club teams the Swedish Ice
Hockey Federation created a rule which allows the players considered for the
JWC’s to leave their Elitserien team on loan if they are not getting into
the lineup there to play for teams in the Allsvenskan instead, which is the
level of senior hockey competition one notch below Elitserien. A significant
number of the players on Team Sweden are players who have benefited from Read more»
List done in association with former Midget AAA Elite coach, and current head coach of the National 18 Team.
1. Martin Samuelsson, Modo, F.
189 cm, 87 kg.
1982 01 25
Comments: Big strong forward, good ability to score goals. Will get his
hockey education from the top-notched coaching staff in Örnsköldsvik, who
have thaught the Sedin brother´s and Peter Forsberg and all of the other
supreme talent coming up from the ”hockey factory” of the northern part of
Sweden. That factor is a guarantee for success.
2. Tim Eriksson, Västra Frölunda HC, F.
174 cm, 71 kg.
1982 02 05
Comments: Fast player who can handle the puck. Only weakness is size. Might
have better speed than Samuelsson.
3. Magnus Hedlund, Mora IK, D.
169 cm, 62 kg.
1982 01 02
Comments: Should had been ranked first if he had been bigger. Strong player
though, who has dominated the Allsvenskan (South) League this
season.Unbelivable player who has everything except size. But size will
come, his body hasn´t start to develop yet, but count on this player. Also a
good hitter despite his size.
4. Niklas Kronwall, Djurgårdens IF, D.
179 cm, 71 kg.
1981 01 12
Comments: Playing with the big mighty Djurgården team of the Swedish Elite Read more»
HV 71 (Home) vs. MoDo (Away)
Before the season many “experts” said that MoDos defense was an uncertain card, before the game against HV 71 MoDo had only let 10 goals past in 7 games! The Sedins line is not only the best offensive line but defensive as well, much because that they almost spend all the time in offensive zone. After 7 games the line has still not let any goals against with even strength.
The first period against HV 71 was quite even; the Sedins line created one big scoring chance but Daniel did not manage to beat Kari Takko in the net. In the second period MoDo played better and 4 minutes into the period Henrik fed Mattias Weihandl with an opening pass.
Weihandl deked Takko but he hit the post. But Weinhandl got his revenge after a disordered situation in front of the net. He picked up the lose puck and fed Henrik with a pass, Henrik with an open net made no mistake. HV tied the game before the period was over.
The third period was, just as the previous two, an open history. Great skating, intensity and goal tending. With 2.24 left of the game, Samuel Pahlsson won a face-off in offensive zone, he was captured by HV 71′s defense and knocked to the ice. But with great strength he manages, lying down, to lift the puck past Kari Takko. MoDo won 3-1 after an EN-goal.
HV 71-MoDo 3-1 (0-0,1-1,0-2)
0-1 (07.27) Henrik Sedin (Mattias Weinhandl)
Important players like Per Svartvadet, Hans Jonsson and Frantisek Kaberle have all left MoDo for North America and the NHL. Last season’s best goalie in SHL, Petter Ronnqvist did not want so sign a new contract and chose to play in Europe. But MoDo has signed some interesting players. Andreas Pihl is a big defender (102-kg) and he might fill some of the empty space after Jonsson in the defense. Canadian Joel Bouchard is a rushing defender and will be an important part in MoDos Power Play. But the most interesting rookie in MoDo and SHL this season is winger Mattias Weinhandl. Weinhandl played in the lower divisions last season and 11 out of 12 clubs in the SHL wanted his name on a contract, but he chose MoDo. He was born in 1980, just like the Sedins and was drafted in the middle of the third round by the Islanders.
MoDo has combined a new, very interesting line this season. Mattias Weinhandl has joined the Sedins and they have played great together. Weinhandl fits in superbly. He is an aggressive and very skilled player. He is also a right-shooter, and with that combination it makes him a perfect fit with the twins. Weinhandl is pure goalscorer, in my opinion, MoDos best since Markus Naslund. “The Sedin line” has begun the season very well and will be a big attraction during the winter. The line has actually played together earlier in their careers. The first time they played together was in the WJC’s last Christmas.