Lindvall backstops Skelleftea to win in Kuopio
For the second game in a row, Skelleftea AIK had to get down into the trenches against an opponent that most would figure is below them talent-wise On Thursday they lost in overtime in Vienna. Today they were outshot badly by KalPa Kuopio, but thanks to the netminding of Gustaf Lindvall they eeked out a 2-1 victory.
After a defensive first period without a lot of chances either way, Skelleftea opened the scoring with two goals less than six minutes apart – first Henrik Hetta backhanding in the rebound on the power play, then Par Lindholm finishing off a 2-on-1 after a nice pass from Andrew Calof. Joni Niko shovelled in a loose puck to get KalPa on the board late in the second period.
In the third, KalPa pressed hard for the equalizer and outshot Skelleftea badly – 28-19 in the game – but just couldn't manage to come up with a point in their first CHL game of the new season.
"It was a very fast game, a hard fought victory," said Skelleftea assistant coach Bert Robertsson. "We came in and we dug really deep. It was two teams that play with a lot of speed and puck skill, so it was a fun game to watch, both for us coaches and for fans. But we're on the road here so we dug deep and we're really happy with the win. A lot of dedication, a lot of heart and a good goalie helps too."
"These games are about goals and the final score, no excuses. Year after year we have a little bit of the same problem. I think that this game should've been enough for a better result," said KalPa coach Pekka Virta. "Skelleftea's routine was easily seeable and of course it bugs me that we got nothing. We also have to see the bigger picture too, where we are coming from and where we are going to. However, neither team stopped behind the goal and it was easy to play a fast game. I think that this was a fine and fast-paced game and it had its wise elements too. We played and held the rhythm wisely too. If we can hold on to that, it could be quite fun in the future."