Brynäs captures Swedish hockey gold

Brynäs captures Swedish hockey gold
Brynäs IF were crowned champions of Sweden's top professional hockey league after defeating Skellefteå 2-0 in front of a jubilant home crowd in Gävle, eastern Sweden, on Thursday night.

“I can’t stop crying, but they’re tears of joy,” said Brynäs forward Jakob Silfverberg, who scored what turned out to the game winning goal, to newspaper Aftonnbladet.

The 21-year-old Silfverberg, a native of Gävle who was named the league’s most valuable player in the regular season, solidified his status as a hometown hero in the second period when he unleashed a powerful wrist shot that sailed past stunned Skellefteå netminder Joacim Eriksson into the upper corner.

“I have no idea where it came from. It just whistled away; I hardly understand it myself,” he told the newspaper.

The goal was Silfverberg’s 13th goal in the Elitserien playoffs, setting a new record and giving his team a lead which it never relinquished.

The goal was also a sweet redemption for Silfverberg, who had two previous series-clinching goal scoring attempts – including an overtime penalty shot, hit the pipe in game four of the series.

Brynäs jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series before Skellefteå, they’re backs against the wall, battled back by winning the next two games, bringing the series back to Gävle for what turned out to be the decisive game six of a hard-fought and feisty final.

Skellefteå was looking to avenge a loss to Färjestad in last year’s final against, which had been the team’s first in 33 years.

And while the club from northern Sweden dominated the start of the match, Silfverberg’s goal took some of the wind out of Skellefteå’s sails.

Any chance of a Skellefteå victory was all but erased midway through the third period when they failed to convert after an extended offensive zone flurry, only to see Brynäs blue liner Ryan Gunderson put his squad up 2-0 with seven minutes to play.

The win allowed Brynäs to collect its 13th championship title, and it’s first since 1999.

“It’s totally insane. I can barely believe it,” Silfverberg told Aftonbladet.

“It feels so damn great to be able to treat the home crowd to the gold.”

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