Färjestad pounded Linköping Feb. 16 to take over first place in the Elitserien.
By Chipp Reid
Färjestad took over sole possession of first place Feb. 15 when it thumped former league front-runners Linköping 6-3 on the Wolfpack’s home ice in Karlstad.
The win was Färjestad’s ninth in a row at home and put the Wolfpack into the top seed in the league with two games left to play before the playoffs. Once more, it was a quick start that gave FBK the edge.
“We got off to a really good start, going up 4-0 in the first period,” said Wolfpack head coach Sammi Samuelsson. “It’s the kind of start that is always good to have and we were very happy to play so well in the opening period.”
Marcus Paulsson scored a pair of goals in the first period as the Wolfpack overcame an initially sluggish start to hammer Linköping in the final 10 minutes of the session. Jesper Mattsson opened the scoring at 13:30 of the period. Paulsson notched his first goal of the session three minutes later while Eero Somervuori tallied at 18:12 to make the score 3-0. Paulsson then picked up his second of the game and of the period at 19:15 to give Färjestad a 4-0 lead.
Linköping pulled back a pair of goals in the second period as Teemu Aalto scored on a power play at 7:56 and Zach Henriksson scored an even-strength goal at 13:31. Jonas Holös banked in a pass from Mattsson at 19:00 of the second to restore the Wolfpack’s three-goal cushion. Holos scored on the power play.
Per Åslund tallied at 2:50 of the third to give Färjestad a 6-2 lead before Tomas Surovy made it 6-3 for Linkoping at 6:13 of the session.
For Paulsson, the goals were his first for Färjestad after he joined the Wolfpack from the Malmö Redhawks. Samuelsson said it was the perfect way for the young star to start his Färjestad career.
“It was only a matter of time before he would get his first goal and then he got number two,” Samuelsson said. “He has been tremendous since he came here.”
The Wolfpack has been on the prowl for the past two weeks, losing just once in the last seven games. Samuelsson said the Linköping victory showed his team’s greatest strength.
“Without a doubt the depth of the team,” he said. “If the (Rickard) Wallin line was the best in the first period, we had a second line that could take over in the other periods. All four lines had strong periods in different parts of the game.”
Färjestad and Linköping each have two games left to play in the regular season. Both are in action Feb. 19 while Linköping plays its final regular-season game on Feb. 21. Färjestad plays its final regular-season game on Feb. 23.