Hammarby wins bandy crown
Hammarby cruised to a victory over Sandviken March 17 to claim the Elitserien bandy title, with a record crowd storming the ice in celebration before the end of the game at the Friends Arena in Solna.
"It feels wonderful, completely awesome,” Hammarby captain Stefan Erixon said. “We've fought since April to get here and have had an enormous match.”
Hammarby stormed out to a 3-0 lead after five minutes and held a 4-0 lead at 10-minute mark.
From then on, it was smooth skating for Hammarby, which never allowed Sandviken to get close. As the last 30 ticked down with Hammarby holding a 9-4 lead, the crowd decided the game was over and stormed the ice before the referee could even blow the final whistle.
Sandviken, Joel Othén, who found himself right in front of the Hammarby fans, said he wasn’t happy the home fans turned the game into a near-riot.
"Clearly it was no good," he said. "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—more than 10,000 more supporters than the previous record at Stockholm Stadion in 1959.

Sweden, Ireland bicker over roof
FIFA's match official will decide March 22 whether Sweden and Ireland will play their World Cup qualifier under a closed roof to keep out Stockholm's wintry weather, Swedish team manager Lars Richt said March 19.
"Ultimately it's a decision for the FIFA match commissioner and that decision will be taken at a meeting that takes place on match day at 10:30 in the morning," Richt said.
Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni told a media briefing March 18 he would prefer the roof of the Friends Arena to be open but the Swedes would rather keep the roof shut for the sake of the spectators.
"Common sense says if it's cold and snowy everyone wants to have the conditions as good as possible and that's with a closed roof," Richt said.
The Group C match kicks off at 20:45 local time.


Skellefteå skates into semis
Top-seeded Skellefteå AIK made short work of Brynäs, sweeping the defending champions out of the playoffs in four games as the Eliterien hockey playoffs began.
No. 2 seed Färjestad held a 3-1 lead over Modo after Modo’s dramatic 5-4 come-from-behind win March 18. The two teams met March 20 in Karlstad in Game 5.
No. 3 seed Luleå held a 2-1 lead over Frölunda while fifth-seeded Linköping had a 2-1 series edge against No. 4 HV 71.
Skellefteå opened and closed its series with the Tigers in similar, shutting out Brynäs. SAIK won the opened 5-0 and took Game 4 with a 4-0 win. League-leading scorer Bud Holloway racked up five points in four games, including a team-high three goals, to leads Skellefteå. SAIK’s goaltending tandem of Markus Svensson and Joachim Eriksson split duty over the series with each claiming two wins and one shut out. Svensson was in goal for the series-clinching win March 18.
Brynäs barely mustered an answer for Skellefteå. SAIK swamped the Tigers 7-3 in Game 2 as Joakim Lindström collected four points from a goal and three assists to lead the top seeded Skellefteå. Brynäs scored all three of its goals in the third period, Ryan Gundersson scoring the first as he snapped the Tigers’ 107-minute scoreless streak at the start of the playoffs.
Färjestad looked ready to end its series with Modo in four games as well as it held a 3-0 lead going into the third period on March 18, but the Örnsköldsvik team mounted a huge comeback, scoring twice in the third period to force overtime. Ladislav Nagy scored at 5:01 of the extra session to give Modo the win.