SHL 2018/9 - semi final review- Luleå v Frölunda
SHL 2018/9 - semi final review- Luleå v Frölunda

SHL 2018/9 - semi final review- Luleå v Frölunda

The semi finals saw the top four teams in the regulation season face each other in a best-of-seven match series.

Luleå HF v Frölunda Indians

Luleå had the perfect end to the regulation season and carried their form into the playoffs where many were tipping them to go all the way.

Champions Hockey League wins Frölunda had other ideas and challenged the pre-match favourites from the first match in Luleå where they eked out a 4-3 win in overtime with New York Islanders' drafted American Rhett Rakhshani (see photo) slotting the Game Winning Goal.

Returning to Gothenburg Frölunda put on a masterful display with Chicago Blackhawks drafted Johan Mattson holding a shutout whilst Boston Bruins drafted Canadian and former Luleå player Jonathan Sigalet and Swede Ponthus Westerholm sealed the 2-0 victory.

In Match three back at home, Luleå left it late to gain their first, and indeed, only win in the series. With c.15 minutes to go in the last period American Jack Connelly took the team's level at 1-1. It was left to with 20 year old Caroline Hurricanes drafted Jesper Sellgren scoring the GwG with less than two minutes to go. 36 year old Swede Karl Fabricius scored the empty netter to complete at 3-1 victory for the home side.

But back in the Scandinavium it was the same story, with Mattson keeping a clean sheet whilst goals were provide from Rakhshani, 19 year old Samuel Fagermo and 20 year old LA Kings drafted defenseman, Jakob Moverare.

With home advantage and needing a win to keep their final dreams alive, Luleå were outplayed in their last game of the season, letting in five goals without reply. Frölunda cemented their final place in the final with two goals from with Anders Grönlund and Ryan Lasch gaining one goal and two assists in the 6-2 win.

Rakhshani is back to playing some of his best hockey which saw him win the most goals in the playoff competition when Växjö won their first title in 2014/5. He joins fellow Californian Lasch at top of the team's Total Points with 12.

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