With the series at 3-1 in Frölunda's favour, it was do or die for Skellefteå in their bid to regain the Le Mat Trophy. All previous Swedish championship wins for Frölunda had been on home ice (1965, 2003, and 2005), so the odds were stacked against the team from Gothenburg when they took to the ice in Skellefteå this afternoon.
It was Skellefteå that charged out of the gate, but after 1:46 they lost a lot of pace and heart when Artturi Lehkonen took a pass from Ryan Lasch on the blue line and went in alone on the goalkeeper, opening the scoring moments after the game began. With that goal, he tied Daniel Alfredsson's Frölunda playoff points record.
Skellefteå continued to push, and got the chance to comeback with an early power play, but when the time ran out, Frölunda got the puck out of the zone, and Nicklas Lasu got the breakaway straight out of the box, and suddenly Frölunda was up 2-0.
It became 3-0 in the 15th minute when Lehkonen once again took a pass, deked a few defenders, and lifted the puck in with a backhand to break the record of the former hockey superstar.
At 3-0 down after 20 minutes, it was obvious that Skellefteå needed the next goal, and they got it, with Sebastian Aho getting on the scoresheet.
From there the game resembled the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, with teams trading chances constantly. When the smoke had cleared, there had been four goals in ten minutes, the score now 5-2 after goals from Lukas Bengtsson, Pär Lindholm and Ryan Lasch.
The rest of the period was more of a free skate, and it felt as though the game was put away already. The Skellefteå fans tried their best to get their team going, and deserve huge credit for maintaining the energy.
The third period was essentially played at an exhibition pace. Both teams knew how the game would end. Martin Lundberg scored one more goal for Skellefteå to make it 5-3, and got the crowd back into the game with nine minutes to go. But in the end, it had no impact on the result, as Frölunda's lead was just to big to overcome.
Lehkonen opened the scoring and scored the 3-0 goal, as well. I am out of superlatives, so just watch the highlights!
Lehkonen's 1-0 goal
Lehkonen's 3-0 goal