HV71 goalie Jonas Gunnarsson (Photo by Marcus Vilson | Swe Press Photo)
HV71 won their second straight game during Saturday evening as they defeated the reigning champions Växjö Lakers in an intensive rivalry game, but after 60 minutes of play the team from Jönköping, Sweden had beat Växjö 4-2.
It was a tough and intensive rivalry game game in Kinnarps Arena, home of HV71 during Saturday evening as they played against reigning champions Växjö Lakers. A game where HV71 got a great start when they scored the go ahead goal after 06:26 played of the first period. With a little bit of luck though as the puck bounced off a defender. HV71 didn’t show any signs of slowing down and pushed the visitors back in their own zone and made Lakers goalie, Viktor Fasth work hard. The home teams hard work paid off yet again when forward Markus Ljungh placed the puck behind Fasth.
In the second period, Växjö came out and I don’t want to know what head coach Sam Hallam said in the locker room, but Växjö tightened their game and started to look like the champions they are. Brendan Shinnimin got his fast skating back and caused some trouble for the home team. And with 11:09 minutes played in the middle act, Växjö reduced HV71’s lead to 2-1 and who scored? Brendan Shinnimin. After the Växjös goal the game started to go north and south and the teams took turns creating chances, but there were two great goalies in the net. HV71 made it 3-1 before the end of the period.
In the third period Växjö had to do something to prevent another loss against their rivals. But HV71 played a good disciplined game the whole 60 minutes and made it hard for Växjö. Växjö did score another goal (3-2) by Julius Junttila, but as the visitors pulled Viktor Fasth and to go with six players HV71s’ Anton Bengtsson scored an empty netter with only 38 seconds left of the game.
Analysis of the game
HV71 had a rough start to the season and only a few days ago, they fired head coach Johan Lindbom and replaced him with Stephan “Lillis” Lundh. Who was previously the assisting coach. After Lundh took charge, HV71 seems to have found something and in yesterday’s game against the Växjö Lakers the team from Jönköping got their second straight win. The game play are more intense, speedier and disciplined. The defensive play seems to be more in order and, above all, each player knows his role. And it was all this that made HV71 look bigger, more creative and more disciplined than their opponents.