The SDHL is one of the best women’s hockey leagues in the world and the Swedish pro league has built a fan following to go along with its talent base.
Regular season champs Brynäs faced off against Luleå in a best-of-five championship series this week with the games drawing large crowds, including the fifth and deciding game which drew a sellout crowd of 7,765 fans. The crowd was a new SDHL record.
Luleå came away as champions winning Game 5 by a score of 5-2. Swedish Olympian Linn Peterson and Finnish Olympian Petra Nieminen each scored a pair of goals for Luleå, while Danish Olympian Josefine Persson had the other goal.
Nieminen was Luleå’s leading scorer this season with 26 goals and 55 points in 34 games. She was an assistant captain for Finland in Beijing winning her second Olympic bronze scoring 8 points in 7 games. At only 22-years-old, Nieminen is a rising star in women’s hockey.
On TSN’s February list of the Top 25 women’s hockey players in the world, Nieminen was ranked 11th, while two other players in the SDHL final, Jenni Hiirikoski (#2) and Lara Stalder (#18) were also in the game.
Stadler who plays for Brynäs was the SDHL’s leading scorer this season notching 34 goals and 89 points in 33 regular-season games. She captained Switzerland to a 4th place finish at the 2022 Olympics scoring 9 points in 7 games.
Hiirikoski captained Finland at the Olympics and has won three Olympic bronze medals and eight World Championship medals representing her country. The defender finished the season second in scoring on Luleå behind Nieminen with 45 points in 34 games.
Brynäs’ goals in the losing effort were scored by Czechia Olympian Denisa Krizova and Swedish Olympian Maja Nylén-Persson.
Luleå featured 11 players that played at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, while Brynäs had nine.