The mild weather is playing havoc with this year’s ice speedway season with matches in Gävle and Bollnäs being cancelled, including Round 2 of the team competition. Even in Russia, practice was cancelled on Friday before for the Russian league match in Ufa.
But thankfully, Round 3 in Strömsund went ahead as planned today.
All the teams have brought in changes to reflect that the ice speedway season is up and running in several countries so that this Round was a more all-Swedish affair.
Home team Strömsunds SK has to manage without top scorer, Jasper Iwema, Bockerna replaced Luca Bauer with Niek Schaap, whilst SMK Gävle had Christer Biskop and Andreas Lindbolm instead of the international pairing of Lukas Hutla and Jirka Wildt.
The meeting was again dominated by leading team, ÖMK Rundbana. Even without two of their top Swedish riders in the form of Martin Haarahiltunen and Ove Ledström, they still scored 50 points dropping first place in just five Heats over the whole day.
Martin Börjegren and René Stellingwerf came in to replace the missing Swedes and the latter scored a maximum 12 points alongside teammates, Niclas and Stefan Svensson.
Two weeks ago it was the hosts who won the battle for second place, but even with veteran Franz Zorn on the ice, they struggled to compete and end up last with just 16 points with a heartbreaking four stops in front of their home fans.
That left Bockerna and Gävle to fight it out for second place.
At the halfway point Gävle were ahead by 16-11, thanks to heat wins from Markus Jell and team captain, Albin Lindbolm.
But Bockerna never gave up and were getting closer, so that when 15 year old, Atte Suolammi won Heat 17 for the Bollnäs team, the two sides were separated by just three points, 25-22, with all to play for in the three remaining Heats.
But with misfires with both teams and Rundbana winning Heats 18-20, there was no overturning SMK Gävle’s lead. They came in second with 29 points and Bockerna finished with 24 points and had to be satisfied with third.
Apart the victor’s faultless trio, top scorers were Gävle’s Jell (9) and Albin Lindbolm (8) followed by Bockerna‘s Suolammi and captain, Jo Saetre (both with 7).
Weather permitting, Round 4 will take place in Gävle on 8 February with the re-scheduled Round 2 being played the following day in Bollnäs.