Hammarby take home Sweden’s bandy final

Hammarby take home Sweden's bandy final
Hammarby cruised to a victory in Sweden's bandy final against Sandviken on Sunday, with a record crowd storming the ice in celebration before the end of the game at Stockholm's Friends Arena.

“It feels wonderful, completely awesome. We’ve fought since April to get here and have had an enormous match,” Hammarby captain Stefan Erixon told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The Södermalm side stormed to a 3-0 lead within five minutes and had netted one more by the ten-minute mark.

From then on, it was smooth skating until Hammarby was leading 9-4 with just 30 seconds to go. The crowd then decided the game was over and stormed the ice before the referee could even blow the final whistle.

IN PICTURESClick here for to see the fans storm the ice

Not everyone was pleased with the crowd’s collective decision, not least the goalkeeper for Sandviken, Joel Othén, who found himself right in front of the Hammarby fans.

“Clearly it was no good,” he told the Expressen newspaper.

“It was completely unsafe where I was standing. It was fine because I managed to get away quite quickly, it was lucky I had my skates on.”

A record 38,474 spectators turned up to the arena in Solna, northern Stockholm – over 10,000 more supporters than the previous record at Stockholm Stadion in 1959.

Bandy, a game similar to ice-hockey but with a ball instead of a puck, a bigger rink, and more players, is a popular winter sport in Sweden.

A similar version of the sport, called “innebandy” in Swedish and floorball in English, is played indoors on hardwood and is also popular among Swedes.

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