Sunday, 14 February 2021

SDHL Updates

If there's one professional women's hockey league I'm keeping an eye on this season, it's the SDHL thanks to the vast number of former U SPORTS players currently suiting up for the SDHL's teams. While it's a bit of a hike from my current locale, there are a dozen players I've seen play at the U SPORTS level playing right now as well as a handful of other players who have had roles with the Canadian National Team program or the CWHL at times. I'm always interested in seeing how the former university players are doing, so today's article is all about how things are going in Sweden for the women who used to play Canadian university hockey!

We'll start with the standings because there are really three levels of teams currently battling for SDHL supremacy. As it stands, there are two elite teams, four contenders, and four with slim chances at either making the playoffs or making noise in the playoffs. Considering that the season will end on February 26, there isn't a lot that some of these teams can do to improve their standings considerably, so the only movement one might see is within those levels of teams. And even that seems a little far-fetched in some cases.

The Elite Level is occupied by first-place Luleå/MSSK who boast a rather incredible 30-2-1-1 (W-L-ETW-ETL) record for 93 points on the season and won't be caught by anyone. Joining them in the Elite Level is second-place Brynäs who sport a 27-4-1-2 record for 85 points. Luleå/MSSK is the best defensive team in the SDHL having given up just 49 goals while Brynäs is the best offensive team in scoring 160 goals on the season. For those wondering, Luleå/MSSK has a home-and-home wtih MODO to finish the season while Brynäs has home games against Djurgården and Leksand to close out their campaign. They will be seeded as the first- and second-place teams, respectively, when the playoffs begin.

The Contender Level sees HV71 lead the way in third-place overall with an 18-8-4-2 record for 64 points. Chasing them are fourth-place Linköping who sport a 17-13-3-2 record for 59 points, fifth-place Djurgården with a 16-12-3-1 record for 55 points, and sixth-place MODO who have a 15-15-3-1 record for 52 points. Nothing is written in stone here as there could be movement among these teams before the end of the season.

HV71 can lock up third-place that will see them on the road for their final four games against Djurgården, SDE, AIK, and Göteborg. Meanwhile, Linköping will close out the season at home against Djurgården, so Linköping cannot catch HV71 based on math. Djurgården closes out its season with a home game against HV71 before playing their final three games on the road against Brynäs, Leksand, and Linköping, meaning there's a very good chance that final game will determine the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams. MODO, as stated above, closes out its season with a home-and-home against Luleå/MSSK.

The Slim Chance Level sees SDE sitting in seventh-place with a 9-19-3-3 record for 36 points. Following them are AIK who sport a 9-20-0-5 record for 32 points, Leksand who have a 5-26-2-1 record for 20 points, and Göteborg who sit in tenth-place with a 3-30-0-2 for just 11 points. It would appear that both SDE and AIK will make the playoffs while Leksand and Göteborg will not based on math. Unless something dramatic happens like a forfeiture of points, neither have enough runway left to catch either of SDE or AIK.

SDE will close out the season at home against HV71 before playing on the road against AIK. AIK plays at home against both HV71 and SDE. Leksand will play out the stretch by hosting Djurgården before heading out on the road to play Brynäs. Göteborg has one final game this season as they'll play host to HV71 on February 26.

I was going to do a long piece on individual stat for the U SPORTS players, but, instead, I'll post the scoring race among the U SPORTS players with a couple of notes for each. I think this is an interesting way to look at the stats before the end of the season in a couple of weeks, so here are the top former U SPORTS scorers in the SDHL! As a note the ranking at the end of the stats is each player's individual team ranking among scorers on her team.
  1. Danielle Stone (HV71) - 18 goals, 13 assists for 31 points (4th).
  2. Jaycee Magwood (MODO) - 15G, 11A for 26 points (2nd).
  3. Marion Allemoz (MODO) - 11G, 11A for 22 points (3rd).
  4. Erica Rieder (MODO) - 9G, 13A for 22 points (4th).
  5. Sarah Bujold (DJUR) - 12G, 9A for 21 points (3rd).
  6. Kelty Apperson (SDE) - 7G, 10A for 17 points (2nd).
  7. Hannah Clayton-Carroll (GOTE) - 7G, 7A for 14 points (1st).
  8. Kelly Murray (SDE) - 5G, 8A for 13 points (6th).
  9. Lore Baudrit (MODO) - 5G, 5A for 10 points (10th).
  10. Celine Tardif (LINK) - 2G, 8A for 10 points (10th).
  11. Alexandra Anderson (SDE) - 3G, 2A for 5 points (11th).
  12. Mathea Fischer (DJUR) - 1G, 1A for 2 points (17th).
  13. Megan Eady (SDE) - 1G, 1A for 2 points (17th).
  14. Betty Jouanny (AIK) - 1G, 0A for 1 point (14th).
That's a pretty impressive list for the former U SPORTS players when it comes to total points in the SDHL this season! Having five players with 20+ points and four players with 10+ goals is a heckuva showing from the ladies who played Canadian university hockey, and they should be proud of their efforts!

Some interesting notes I should note include the following:
  • Lara Stalder of Brynäs will win the scoring title as she sits with 79 points on the season, 15 points better than Michela Cava of Luleå/MSSK. Her 30 goals also leads the league, but she's only two ahead of Cava in that department. Stalder holds a nine assist lead over teammate Katerina Mrazova when it comes to helpers.
  • Danielle Stone, who once held the goal-scoring lead, sits in sixth-place, but trails eight other women thanks to a few ties. She does have four games to improve her total still, so I'm pulling for her to leap past a few players ahead of her with a few great games to close out the season.
  • Sidney Morin of HV71 is the top-scoring defender with 16 goals and 38 assists for 54 points. Erica Rieder, it should be noted, is tied for sixth in scoring by defenders, and sits five points back of third-overall in defender scoring Maja Nylén Persson of Brynäs.
  • I'm not certain that this is an error, but, according to the SDHL stats page, Morin leads the SDHL in shots on goal at 234 while Luleå/MSSK defender Jenni Hiirikoski sits third-overall with 161 shots on net. Linköping Carly Bullock sits in the middle of the two defenders with 181 shots this season. For the record, Jaycee Magwood has the most shots this season for MODO at 130 while Erica Rieder is second with 106 shots.
  • Hannah Clayton-Carroll leads Göteborg in goals, assists, and points, and has one of the three game-winning goals for the team.
  • Former Canadian Olympian Jennifer Wakefield leads the SDHL in PIMs with 90 for Linköping. Surprisingly, SDE's Kelly Murray is third-overall in PIMs this season with 53.
  • Jaycee Magwood sits in second-place in the SDHL for game-winners with six to her name.
  • Danielle Stone of HV71 leads the SDHL in power-play goals with ten. Magwood is in second-place on that list as well with eight goals on the advantage. Sarah Bujold has four power-play markers for Djurgården.
I didn't forget about the lone goalie who played in U SPORTS that is backstopping an SDHL team either. Lindsey Post is currently guarding the twine for SDE, and she has a 10-19-3 record this season for the club. SDE has struggled, but Post's numbers are still respectable as she sits eighth-overall with a 2.67 GAA and sixth-overall with a .911 save percentage while playing the most minutes in the SDHL at 1772:01 - more than 200 minutes more than second-place Klara Peslarova of MODO! SDE will need her to continue to be good as they enter the playoffs against one of Luleå/MSSK or Brynäs!

There are your updates in the SDHL with two weeks to go in the season. There's still lots of time for a few teams and a handful of players to do some damage based on their schedules, and I'm excited to see some of the final numbers for the former U SPORTS players once the season ends. As it stands, it appears that only one of the former U SPORTS players won't play in the playoffs as Hannah Clayton-Carroll's Göteborg squad will play in the relegation playoff series against Leksand.

It's not quite Canada West or U SPORTS hockey, but the SDHL features a pile of players that played at the Canadian university level, and it's always fun to catch up on their seasons as the SDHL campaign progresses. Good luck to all the teams and players, and we'll check back in a couple of weeks to see what the final tallies are!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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